Guitar Center 28th Drum-Off - Photo by Ryan Hunter

Guitar Center's 28th Drum-Off at the Novo in DTLA

Guitar Center named Mark Pacpaco from West Covina, CA, as the winner of Guitar Center's 28th Annual Drum-Off at the Novo in Downtown Los Angeles, CA. As the retailer’s longest running artist discovery program, Guitar Center’s Drum-Off has unearthed emerging drum talent and has become an anticipated event in the drum community.

Since the launch of the competition back in August 2016, thousands of undiscovered drummers from across the country signed up to compete at more than 200 regional Guitar Center stores nationwide. From a pool of over 5,000 participants, five talented drummers were chosen to move on to Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Finals at The Novo in Los Angeles for a chance to win the coveted grand title.

The West Covina native was drawn to the drums at the early age of seven. His passion for drumming developed at his local church. Recently, Pacpaco turned to YouTube to showcase his talent, and now, he’ll use this opportunity as a platform to launch his career in music and reach a larger audience. As the winner, Pacpaco will join an esteemed group of talented drummers who have gone on to play for the likes of Prince, Beyoncé, Jay Z and more.

Read More: Executive Profile: Frank Crowson, SVP of Marketing at Guitar Center

“Drum-Off is a great competition. I learned so much from my loss last year in the quarter-finals. I saw it as a way to get stronger. Now that I’ve won, everything has changed. Guitar Center paved the way for me and I don't think I can stop at this point. I hope that my journey continues," the winner commented.

As the winner of Guitar Center’s 28th Annual Drum-Off, Pacpaco will receive:

• $25,000
• High-end drum kit by DW, Tama, Pearl, Gretsch or Yamaha
• Complete set of Sabian, Meinl or Zildjian cymbals
• Drum, stick, cymbal and drumhead endorsement deals
• VIP Experience at the NAMM Show 2017
• Feature in Modern Drummer Magazine
• A Roland TD-50KV Electronic Drum Kit and the SPD-SX
• GoPro Music Bundle
• Performance on Drum Channel
• $500 Guitar Center Gift Card
• Clinic at Winner’s Local Guitar Center

The five Drum-Off finalists battled on stage in front a live audience and a panel of celebrity judges including Venzella Joy (Beyoncé), Tony Royster Jr. (Charlie Puth, Jay Z), Queen Cora Coleman (Dave Chappelle, Beyoncé, Prince) and many more. This year’s program also included performances by Sheila E. and Pete Escovedo with a surprise jam with two unsuspecting audience members, collaborative performances by Larnell Lewis (of Grammy® Award-winning ensemble Snarky Puppy) and Rashid Williams (John Legend), and a special Rockwalk Induction honoring legendary James Brown drummers John “Jab’o” Starks and Clyde Stubblefield.

The sponsors of Guitar Center’s 28th annual Drum-Off of are among respected brands in the music industry, including DW, Drum Channel, Evans, GoPro, Gretsch, LP, Meinl, Modern Drummer, Pearl, Pro-Mark, Remo, Roland, Sabian, Tama, Vic Firth, Yamaha and Zildjian.

Photos by Alex Kluft, Ryan Hunter and Phillip Faraone

For more information, visit Drumoff.GuitarCenter.com.