Before heading off to the semifinals of America’s Got Talent, the Atlanta Drum Academy is hosting a local performance. 

The Atlanta Drum Academy will host a free, public performance on July 27 at The Interlock, 1115 Howell Mill Road, on the Westside.

Last month, students from the academy competed on America’s Got Talent and earned the spot of the Golden Buzzer winner. 

As a result, later this month the group will head to the semifinals of America’s Got Talent in Pasadena, Calif. The students will then have a chance to be voted into the finals by America. 

YouTube video

The Atlanta Drum Academy is a nonprofit organization that was launched in 2011 by James Riles III. It aims to be a safe space and inspire and educate children through drumming.

“I’m originally from Coffee County, Georgia. My hometown had one red light and not much to do, so when I was five years old, my parents bought me a drum set,” said Riles III, owner and CEO the academy. 

“I’d perform locally and play in church, and after I got into the school band, I received a scholarship to go to Morris Brown College. That’s where I got experience teaching and fell in love with teaching children,” he said. 

Riles III also composed and performed in Drumline and Drumline 2: A New Beat.  

Today, despite not having a permanent training facility, the academy teaches approximately 60 students.

The students practice virtually once a week and once a week in-person at a parent-owned karate studio in Riverdale. 

The group will perform on July 27 at The Interlock’s Highline Park located at Howell Mill Road and Beeline Boulevard. 

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a performance at 7 p.m. There will be food and drink vendors on-site. Additionally, after the performance, guests are welcome to ask questions and try the drums out themselves. 

For more information or to reserve a spot for the July 27 event, click here.

Rough Draft Atlanta is the digital home of Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.