5 Drummerszone artists - Gabor Dornyei

Gabor Dornyei
* December 17, 1977
Hungary, United Kingdom
Professional drummer Gábor Dörnyei was born in Hungary but is currently based in London, England. He was named 'Drummer of the Year' in his country, and won the Golden Drumstick Award in 2004.

Gabor Dornyei played many times for Walt Disney Co. in studio sessions, worked 3 years as the drummer of the Hungarian National Radio's Big Band, and can be heard on more than 30 cds, and 5 dvds, plus about a 100 radio recordings.

Gabor Dornyei also has 14 years of expertise in musical theaters, with credits including: Fame, Rent, Jekyll and Hyde, The Producers, Oliver, Le Cage aux Folles, The Beautiful Game, Godspell, Les Miserables, Sister Act, The Full Monty, Cabaret, Chicago, etc.

Gabor Dornyei is also an experienced drum clinician, with credits including Drumtech UK, Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) UK, amongst many European Masterclasses, solo and band performances at Jazz, Pop, Rock, Latin and Drum Festivals.

Gabor Dornyei is Head of Drums at the Harris Academy Bermondsey-London. He recently finished a 6 month long UK/EU Tour with the Thriller Live (Michael Jackson Tribute) London's West End Show, with countries including: England, Scotland, Wales, Poland, Czech Republic, Holland, Germany.

Since 2008, Gábor Dörnyei's started playing and recording with Andy Whitmore, the producer of Atomic Kitten, Kool and the Gang, Dannii Minogue, Peter Andre, Terence Trent D'Arby, Lemar, etc.

In February 2010 Gabor's been listed in Rhythm Magazine, as one of the 'Best new dummers to watch out for in 2010' Worldwide!

Full biography:
Gábor Dörnyei started playing drums at age 12. In 1990 he enrolled to Gábor Bedo in Ferenc Liszt Music School in Szeged. It was around that time that Gábor Dörnyei formed his first heavy metal band, mainly consisting of local buddies, named Holdcore. Then after he played in numerous local bands and did practice a lot in the Downtown Rock Club. Joining the band called Gőzerő (Steam Power) meant a great step forward to him because besides lots of local concerts they participated in national festivals as well.

In 1995 the day of the first cd recording finally arrived: it was Gozero: Lánc-lánc Eszterlánc. Gábor Dörnyei was about 17 that time already having a few students to teach them drumming.

In the same year, Gábor Dörnyei started taking classes from Péter Szendofi in Budapest, which greatly influenced his later life.

Couple months later with Péter's recommendation, Gábor Dörnyei had the chance to play in the Budapest Congress Hall on the second Drummers' Gala with Steve Smith on stage, which turned out to be his first professional show-up in Hungary.

Later Péter asked Gábor Dörnyei to substitute him in a band called White Chocolates and as a result of this he began to receive many invitations to different bands and plays, for example the 1996 Friderika Tour, which was his first national tour and professional hire.

After Gábor Dörnyei started working for theaters as well. In 1997 he went to Germany on tour with a musical band.

In 1999, Gábor Dörnyei started working with Kriszta Kovács. The same year he toured around the country with Tamás Hevesi presenting his latest record 'Vagyok', and recorded cds for the Piccolo Theater, which is successor of the legendary Rock Theater.

After this Gábor Dörnyei joined the band Crystal. It was around their first Golden Record Award and the Golden Giraffe Award when he played with them.

In the summer of 2001 Gábor Dörnyei started working on his own multimedia cd. He spent the majority of the summer of 2002 in Germany with a Hungarian band.

It was wintertime 2002, when due to an accidental invitation he formed his own group, the Dörnyei Gábor Trio, with Miklós Birta on guitar, György Frey on bass. Later the trio became a Quartet with Áron Romhányi on keyboards, and lately Csepregi Gyula shows up more often as a fantastic saxophone and flute player during concerts.

In 2003, Gábor Dörnyei returned to Germany, where he was offered to play as the first Hungarian artist at the Drummers' Festival in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Let's just not forget about the Hungarian happenings: Gábor Dörnyei regularly played at the Cegléd Drummers' Gala, the Drummers' Carnival, along with other shows of high standard. At the 2004 Drummers' Gala he was awarded the Golden Drumstick, the award of the Foundation for the Hungarian Percussion Instrument Culture.

Soon after this Gábor Dörnyei went to Japan, playing on an ocean cruiser, which also was an incredible experience.

Gábor Dörnyei spent four months out there, and upon his return he immediately was asked to join the EmErTon award (jazz group of the year) winner band Jazzpression.

In the same year István Lerch invited him to participate in his concert named 50th Symphony, in the Budapest Congress Center, where Gábor had the pleasure to play with Charlie, Andrea Malek, Kati Kovács, Zsuzsa Koncz and the Cotton Club Singers.

During the year 2005, Gábor Dörnyei continuously played with Jazzpression, Kovátsmuhely, Dörnyei Quartet, Unisex, Funking etc. bands. That summer he was teaching jazz-drumming at a Big-band Camp, and had the time meanwhile to form the ever since successfully operating Kornél Horváth- Gábor Dörnyei duo (tHUNder duo).

Later in 2005, Gábor Dörnyei was also honored to have been invited to join the Hungarian National Radio as professional drummer of the legendary band Studio 11.

In 2006, Gábor Dörnyei carried on playing concerts with all the above mentioned bands, and made numerous studio recordings, besides live gigs as well, with the official jazz band of the Hungarian National Radio, to which hundreds of thousands listened sometimes. In the same year they did a recording for Walt Disney Company and in the gaps between the summer festivals Jazzpression’s third cd had also been recorded.

Soon after Gábor Dörnyei joined Adagio, popular vocal trio, and recorded their 2nd album, which made it to Golden Disc only 2 weeks after its’ launch and went on to become Platinum a little after.

In the meantime, Gábor Dörnyei carried on working with Kornél Horváth, they had several drums and percussion concerts and drum workshops, as well as master classes.

In December 2006, after prolonged preparation, the work on Gábor Dörnyei's second solo album finally started.

2007 saw Gábor Dörnyei recording, both in the studios and live with the National Radio Big Band; tracks featuring great performers like Andrea Szulak, Barna Pely, the Feri Varga-Betty Balassy Duo, Bela Szakcsi Lakatos, the Zoltan Bereczky-Dora Szinetar Duo, and many others...

That April he took part in another prestigious gig with the multi award-winning composer, Istvan Lerch, at the Palace of Arts in Budapest; and only a month later with the Adagio band (a platinum-selling vocal trio) at the same venue. Throughout the rest of the year Gábor Dörnyei continued gigging with the Dornyei Quartet, Csepregi Hip-Bop, The 4G and the Gabor Majsai Band, playing in the biggest musical theatres in town.

In July – under the direction of Marton Racz- Gábor Dörnyei presented Jekyll and Hyde - the musical on the Margit Sziget Open Air stage and in October we recorded a new soundtrack for the Walt Disney Productions.

In November 2007 Gábor Dörnyei moved over to London, UK.

Thankfully I didn't give up because in early 2008 the phone started ringing and from my new connections I started receiving concert invitations and began taking on private drum students.

It was the saxophonist from one of the bands who recommended I audition with the Harris Academy in Bermondsey, and there I was subsequently offered a post as Head of Drums.

In the summer of 2008 the UK music academies recognized Gábor Dörnyei and he was invited to hold drum master classes at Drumtech, the Academy of Contemporary Music, Drumsense, and similar institutes.

At the studio recording of the jazzband Outrance, Gábor Dörnyei met Mike Guy, who recommended the drummer to the Musical Supervisor of the 2009 UK/European Thriller Live Tour. He offered Gabor the position of tour drummer and in February 2009 they hit the road on a six-month tour of England, Holland, Wales, the Czech Republic, Scotland and Germany.

During this time Gabor has occasionally substituted for the drummer on the West End version of the show as well.
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