NYC Street Performer Wins Blue Man Group Competition
Cyzon Griffin, 23, from the Bronx, was crowned the winner of the 6th annual Blue Man Group Boston Drum-Off during the Summer Block Party at The Lawn on D. Cyzon rocked the crowd during his 3-minute solo and once he was named the winner, performed “Drum Finale Throwdown” with Blue Man Group.
Cyzon traveled from New York for the semi-finals on June 26th and returned for two rehearsals to learn the Blue Man Group music he performed today. He makes his living as a street performer and found out about the event through social media.
“Winning the Drum-Off is so exhilarating. I can’t even explain it. It’s insane,” said Cyzon Griffin. “To be able to play with Blue Man Group was an indescribable feeling. I’ve been watching them for a long time so I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform with them. It was such an amazing experience.”
Drummers were assessed on their musicality, creativity, technical ability and personality while performing. In addition to the opportunity to perform with the famed group, Cyzon won $5,000 in prizes including a new DW drum kit, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks and accessories, plus tickets and prizes from Blue Man Group.
“Cyzon was phenomenal. All the drummers were great and it was an extremely hard choice, but Cyzon had the technical level that was just a little bit above everyone else,” said Steve Ballstadt, Blue Man Group full-time drummer and judge. “He presented a fantastic solo routine that was the complete package- great energy, fantastic interaction with the crowd along with amazing drumming.”
The competitors were narrowed down from 44 applicants with Cyzon beating out four other finalists including: Alex Brander, 29, who lives in Brighton, MA and originally from South Yarmouth, MA, Christina Edwards, 19, from Dorchester, MA, Connor Kent, 27, who lives in Boston, MA and originally from Fullerton, CA and Donovan “DJ” McLean, 24, from Hyde Park, MA.
“Everyone did an incredible job today. The fact that we had to move this event from yesterday because of the weather made it even more special,” said Scott Toomey, Resident Music Director and judge. “The finalists all brought their A- game plus the crowd was fantastic, it just made it one of our best Drum-Off events ever.”