July 9, Chengdu – Assistant Public Affairs Officer Elizabeth Jones opened the first Chengdu Fancy Music Drum Festival, which hosted eight world-renowned drummers, including 4 Americans, for two days of performances and master classes in Chengdu. The drummers represented the diversity and innovation of the American music scene and encouraged the amateur musicians in the audience to constantly explore new ways to create art. APAO Jones also conducted an audio interview that will be available online with Tony Royster, Jr, a famous hip-hop drummer who performed with Jay Z at President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. Royster Jr. shared his experiences drumming and explained his passion for using his music to connect with people all over the world. The musician also provided some alternative philosophies on studying music, admitting that he never received formal percussion training and didn’t even practice very much, which shocked the Chinese audience. Royster Jr. also encouraged young aspiring musicians to play from their hearts and experiment with their rhythms and equipment, even if it means breaking with tradition.