Brandon is from American Fork, Utah. He is 27 years old and has been playing drums for 16 years.
The Mapex Interview with Brandon Cummings
Mapex: Tell us a little about your background.
Brandon: My family surrounded me with music. My mother and father played regularly in a top 40’s/Church band and many of my earliest memories involve hanging out at rehearsals and gigs with my Mom and Dad. When I was 11, I got a job as a “paper boy” and saved enough money to purchase my own drum set.
I participated in percussion at American Fork Junior and Senior High Schools and was section leader in several classical, marching, percussion, and jazz groups. I was appointed twice to the drum chair position in the All State Jazz band and was also the recipient of the prestigious Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. I was also the inaugural drummer in Caleb Chapman’s Downbeat Award winning big band, The Crescent Super Band.
When I was in high school I had several album, T.V., and movie credits performing on Fiddle Sticks’ fourth release, Time and Again, the FCMA’s Pearl Awards with Julia Davis Allen, and on the soundtrack for Halestorm Entertainment’s movies, The R.M. and Pride and Prejudice. I later taught as an assistant percussion instructor at American Fork High School under the tutelage of Michael Huestis and was a group and private instructor at The Music School (a private music school).
I also received a music scholarship at Brigham Young University where I studied with Dr. Ron Brough and Jay Lawrence while I participated in several groups including the Symphony Orchestra, Dixieland Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, Jazz Combos, Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and the internationally acclaimed big band, Synthesis. I also performed and presented clinics at I.A.J.E.’s international conventions held in Toronto in 2001 and New York in 2007.
I recently toured the Western United States with country entertainer, Charley Jenkins, he was a finalist on the NBC show, Nashville Star and I shared the stage with many national country acts including Sawyer Brown, Lonestar, Jason Aldeen, Black Hawk, Josh Turner, and others. I’ve perform regularly with American Idol participants David Osmond, Anna Kaelin, Justin Williams, Shaun Barrowes and Jarrett Burns.
Mapex: Who are your favorite drummers or influences?
Brandon: My biggest influences are my faith and my family. I took a two-year break from drumming so I could serve a mission for my church in Switzerland and France.
Some of my favorite drummers are Stanton Moore, Benny Benjamin, Uriel Jones, Johnny Vidacovich, Steve Jordan, Herlin Riley, Brian Blade, Lewis Nash, Antonio Sanchez, Vinnie Colaiuta and Bernard Purdie. They all seem to have something magical about them when they play- an aura- it’s a very spiritual thing that seems to resonate in their playing. The groove seems to hit you like a ton of bricks then stay with you for days on end. That’s my favorite thing to listen for and discover when I’m studying other drummers.
Mapex: What are you currently working on?
Brandon: Right now I’m free-lancing on stage and in the studio. I currently perform with The Anser as their drummer and musical director and I look forward to a lifetime of musical adventures.