Industry Interview: John Donovan – The Party Percussionist

While the party percussion concept is thirty years old, in the past four years DCI World Champion, John Donovan, has received levels of recognition never before earned by a live musician within the DJ industry.

John has been a featured performer at the International DJ Expo in Atlantic City and the Mobile Beat Las Vegas DJ Show & Conference. He has also been featured in both companies magazines.

Last year, John performed in a drumline with the rock band 311 at the MGM Grand Garden arena in Las Vegas. He has worked with DJ Nick Hogan, son of celebrity professional wrestling hall of famer, Hulk Hogan. In 2010, John was on the same bill as international dance music super-star Lucas Prata at a multi-million dollar fundraiser for a new children’s hospital.

With over five hundred private events and night club gigs to his credit in several states from coast-to-coast, this party percussionist performs with mobile DJ entertainers at high-end weddings, mitzvahs, sweet 16’s, engagement parties, and famous nightclubs as a lead percussion entertainer.

Like most drummers, John began by playing rock and roll, but everything changed when at age sixteen he saw his first Drum Corps International (DCI) drumline. From the moment he dedicated himself to this extreme form of mental and physical conditioning, John’s value as a professional increased exponentially.

Before John’s big break in New York’s private event market, he worked with professional dance bands, rock and metal bands, jazz bands, musical theater pit orchestras, amusement park marching bands and cruise ship orchestras. John credits his diverse background in influencing him to be the dynamic entertainer he is today.

Whether it’s 16,000 guests or 50, party percussionist John Donovan can enhance an event by blending perfectly with the music, and creating an exciting visual factor, as well. He also does a surprise set near the end of private events that gives guests a truly unique interactive experience.

Check out this video to see John entertaining at a private event. To speak to him about performing at one of your events, email


  • Stacy Zemon is the Founder, Former Publisher and Former Chief Scribe of She is a veteran DJ Entertainer who is widely considered an authority on the DJ business, and has become a distinguished industry leader over the course of her illustrious 30+ year career. Stacy’s mission is to provide educational resources for DJs that support their professional growth and financial prosperity. She is a longtime writer for DJ Times magazine, and author of the world’s best-selling DJ books: The Mobile DJ Handbook, The DJ Sales & Marketing Handbook and The Mobile DJ MBA. Stacy is a self-described serial entrepreneur (Equal parts creativity and business). From her efforts, she has spawned more professional disc jockey business owners than any other person in the mobile DJ industry!

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