sad fact threw its shadow over the beginnings. In 1992 Gyula Kovács was suddenly taken from the Hungarian music stage, who taught generations of drummers during his career. Both as percussion teacher and Head of the Jazz Department of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, and as music teacher who held private classes for students in his own home.
Just like his colleagues, I too wished to pay my respects to the memory of my former teacher by organising a concert. The concert was organised on the basis of the Buddy Rich memorial concert held in America, during which the students of the world famous drummer performed solo or with their bands. The venue was the 1500-seat Cegléd Sports Hall.
The Gyula Kovács Memorial Concert held in April 1993 was a huge success and encouraged us to repeat it in the future. From the following year the event took on the name of International Drum and Percussion Gala, however the goal remain the same, to pass on the value of the dedication and diligence of the great drummers of the past to the new generation. Between 1993 and 2000 the representatives of Hohner Music Hungary helped organise the first eight drum galas, then, from 2002 until today my partner has been the Tam-Tam Drum Centre.
On the day of the Drum Gala the town is dressed for a festival. Parade drum bands perform on the main town square, and special presentations and an exhibition of percussion instruments are held at the concert venue. We also endeavour to create extra interest by involving the contemporary arts. In the framework of this we have had fine art, photography and poster exhibitions, held instrument design competitions and book presentations, etc. Over the past years the artists that have accepted our invitation to perform and spread the news of the Cegléd Gala have included: Jojo Mayer, David Moss, Steve Smith, Tommy Campbell, Will Calhoun, Benny Greb, Horacio Hernandez, Peter Erskine, Billy Cobham, Gulli Briem, Alex Acuna, Mike Mangini, Pete Lockett, Alvin Queen and Omar Hakim.
In 2000 we established the Hungarian Foundation for Percussion Culture, the goal of which, as given in its name, is the popularisation of percussion culture. We primarily wished to achieve this with the operation of the Drum Museum and by organising the annual Drum Gala. Every year the board of our Foundation presents an award to a Hungarian drummer who stands out from among the others with his or her high standard of professional and human achievement. The “Golden Drumstick Prize” is awarded every year at the Drum Gala.
Those who have received the Golden Drumstick Prize: Kornél Horváth (2000), Gergő Borlai (2002), Péter Szendőfi (2003), Gábor Dörnyei (2004), Péter Kaszás (2005), György Martonosi (2006), Tamás Berdisz (2008), Szilárd Banai (2009), Márton Juhász (2010), Béla Zsoldos (2011), Gábor Szendi (2013), Imre Kőszegi (2014), Dezső Dubán (2015).
Our event has been a forum for the drumming profession since 1993. Since then a new generation has grown up, many of whom first came into contact with the magical world of percussion instruments in Cegléd.
Today the nature of human relationships has been transformed by smart electronic devices, so the greatest benefit of the event comes is the crowded sports hall, where we create the possibility for an eventful meeting and rich experiences for both the performers and the audience.