This kid from Springfield sure can keep a beat

Justin Winters and Blue Man Group Boston.
Brian Babineau
Justin Winters and Blue Man Group Boston.

A shout-out to Justin Winters, winner of Blue Man Group Boston’s annual Drum-Off competition.

The 21-year-old from Springfield was crowned the king at the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival after stunning the crowd with a three-minute solo performance that earned him over $6,000 in prizes, including a new DW drum kit, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, and tickets to Blue Man Group.

“Justin was able to move the crowd and had huge personality, and that makes a difference,” said judge Charles Haynes, a Berklee-trained drummer who’s performed with Kanye West, Lady Gaga, and Ed Sheeran, among others. “At the end of the day, we are here to move the crowd, to make them dance.”


The four other finalists were Euan Leslie from Dumfries, Scotland, Tyler Pedersen from Marblehead, Darryl Reberio Jr. from New Britain, Conn., and Nick Villamizar from Miami.

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“It’s literally the most unbelievable experience ever,” Winters said afterward.