top of page

Our 2024 Special Guests

We are so excited to give you a little more information about the 2024 special guests performing at the GDS on MARCH 24TH 2024, click below to see their bio.

Anika Nilles

Winning multiple awards as one of the finest modern drummers to explode on to the scene in 2014, German Anika Nilles is proof that it is never too late to start. She didn’t take up the sticks professionally until she turned 26, but she has never looked back since. Boasting over 23 million views on social media platforms performing her original music, she appears as one of the most influential modern drumset artists of the 21st century.

Playing with sophistication, style and a musical finesse that is rarely witnessed behind the drums, she is an inspiration to women the world over in what has been a traditionally male- dominated industry. Fierce and determined, she pours over her kit creating melodies through rhythmic complexities that normally sit within other sections of the band. This is no drum machine keeping the beat, this is percussive instrumentation on a whole new level. That also caught the attention of legendary and Grammy winning Guitarist “Jeff Beck”, who choose her for his last world tour in 2022.

In the same year, Anika released her 3rd Album “Opuntia”. “The music was created over the months of the pandemic and reflects the mood, I went through as a musician“. Meant as a statement rather than a complaint. And so the idea fits perfectly with the music. Her sound is a melting pot of influences ranging from Jazz, Funk, Rock, Pop, and anything in-between. Her vibrant personality as a performer is etched on her face as she explores every opportunity to build a new narrative from behind the drum riser. With this in the back, she recently got nominated for German jazz Awards 2023.

Besides her musical career, Anika is passionate about education as well. She is department Chief at Germanys  “POPAKADEMIE” and is writing columns on a regular base for “drums&percussion” magazine. Her work as author includes articles at DRUM! magazine (US) and “Rhythm” (UK). She released her first educational book “PAD BOOK”along with Alfred Music in 2020.

Gary Husband

Award winning instrumentalist, composer, bandleader Gary Husband is one of a rare breed of musicians in that his instrumental expression is divided equally in his capacity as a drummer and keyboardist of international repute. His classical roots, his quest and development in the improvisational, jazz and jazz/fusion areas – not to mention his tenure in the pop, rock, funk and blues circuits – are all evident inside Gary’s distinct and far-reaching musical personality. His solo album and DVD output has also reinforced his status as a critically acclaimed writer and arranger in the contemporary music world.


For close to four decades Gary has worked alongside a vast and eclectic range of celebrated musicians including John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth, Jack Bruce (Cream), Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy), Billy Cobham, Jeff Beck, British pop/funk band Level 42, Al Jarreau, Mike Stern (Miles Davis), John Wetton (King Crimson), Chris Squire (Yes), Andy Summers (The Police), Steve Hackett (Genesis), Robin Trower (Procol Harum), and with producers Sir George Martin (Beatles), Trevor Horn (Grace Jones & Art of Noise), Sir Quincy Jones (Michael Jackson), Jerry Hey and James Guthrie (Pink Floyd). Further associations and performing/recording credits include his work with Randy Brecker, Jan Hammer, Jerry Goodman, fusion/jam band Gongzilla, Germany’s NDR Bigband, Soft Machine, Maria Schneider, Christian McBride, Eddie Van Halen, Dean Brown, Bob Berg, Nguyên Lê, Joe Lovano, Charles Tolliver, Bireli Lagrène, Peter Erskine, Ron Sexsmith, drum n’ bass protagonists Lemon ‘D’ and Dillinja.


As an internationally established drum clinician he has performed alongside Dennis Chambers, Vinnie Colaiuta, Terry Bozzio, Billy Cobham, Simon Phillips, Omar Hakim, Ricky Lawson, Todd Sucherman, Paul Wertico, Eric Moore, Antonio Sanchez, Virgil Donati, Horacio “El Negro” Hernândez,  Denny Seiwell, Dave Weckl, David Garibaldi, Larnell Lewis and Bernard Purdie. His Gary Husband Drum Videocast series (a constantly evolving educational and motivational video course for drummers) can be found at his website. 


His alter-ego as a pianist/keyboard player brings an extra dimension to his musicality at the drums. Indeed, he was the keyboardist & second drummer in John McLaughlin’s 4th Dimension from 2007 to 2023, and is currently also keyboardist in Billy Cobham’s Spectrum 50 Band. Gary continues to devote a substantial proportion of his time recording and performing worldwide across many styles of music.

bottom of page