Circle Bar hosts air drumming competition Saturday_lowres

Jason Songe initiated the New Orleans Air Drumming Championships at The Circle Bar.

A full drum kit can be cumbersome to cart around, but air drumming couldn't be more mobile.

That should make it easy for aspiring air drummers to enter the New Orleans Air Drumming Championships at 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at The Circle Bar (1032 St. Charles Ave.). Much like an air-guitar contest, contestants can focus on style and theatricality. Competitors face three rounds of rocking air-drum performances in front of judges from Ray Fransen’s Drum Center.

Jason Songe, who books music and events at The Circle Bar, says he came up with the idea.

“I had been to air guitar competitions before, but I had never heard of anyone doing an air drumming thing - especially not in New Orleans,” Songe says. “I thought it could be a fun thing, especially in The Circle Bar because it’s kind of an intimate venue.”


Participants will be provided a drum stool and a list of songs to choose from in opening rounds. The first round features songs by The Beatles, AC/DC and others. The second round features more technically challenging songs by The Police, The Who and others. Finalists can perform a song of their choice in the championship round.

Jason Songe says contestants will be judged on the theatricality and precision of the performance, and he encourages participants to enjoy themselves.

“I don’t want it to be too serious; it’s air drumming,” Songe says.

Prizes for first, second and third place include drumming lessons, sticks, practice pads and magazines from Fransen’s Drum Center.

To compete, email with your name and the subject line "AIR DRUMS". Admission is $5.