The 11th annual Honda Battle of the Bands (The Honda or HBOB) took place in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA on January 26, 2013. The HBOB is an annual marching band exhibition which features performances by bands from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Sponsored by the American Honda Motor Company, the Invitational Showcase this year included Marching Bands from Albany State, Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina A&T, Winston-Salem State, Alcorn State, Jackson State, Edward Waters College and Tennessee State. Contradictory to the name, Honda's "battle" is not a competition in the traditional sense; that is, no winner is crowned during the event but rather, the bands compete for the favor of the audience, each other, and the greater community.
The HBOB is considered the Super Bowl of Marching Bands, and like the Super Bowl itself, fans come to Atlanta for the festival atmosphere starting early in the week and staying on throughout the weekend. Each year Zildjian Artist, Hollywood, puts together an annual meeting / clinic for his nationwide fraternity of Cymbal Spinners – The ZPhiZ and The Kartal Kariers Cymbal and Percussion Group. This year, over 80 members, ranging in age from 12 – 45 were in attendance, with awards given to those who have done great community service work for the ZPhiZ cause.
Cymbal Spinning is a combination of dance and hand cymbal playing started in the late 80’s by DeRon "Hollywood" Shepherd. If you’ve never seen it, it’s amazingly beautiful to watch. In 2010, an independent documentary film, by Hollywood, titled Zildjian GoeZ Hollywood was released, based on marching bands in the South, with an emphasis on their cymbal players and percussionist. It depicts the history of cymbals, the art of twirling and spinning cymbals, and the cymbal organizations in HBCU colleges (Z Phi Z/Kartal Inc.) and high schools (Kartal Karriers) across the US. To watch the trailer click here.
Photos below include Cymbal Spinners from: Albany State University, Jackson State University, North Carolina A&T University, Tennessee State University, Alcorn State University, and the Kartal Karriers Kids (High School Division) with members from 10 different States nationwide.