Jenny Hypes: The drummer from Chester French

I began my internship at Augusta Free Press about three weeks ago. So far I have covered almost every happening at the new Chick-fil-A and put labels on envelopes, among other things.

Things started looking up last week when I was given an opportunity to interview the drummer of my favorite band in the world, Chester French. I found life as a journalist certainly had its perks.

I got to hear all about how he got started drumming and how got in with D.A. Wallach and Maxwell Drummey, the founders of Chester French. 

I first discovered Chester French when I went with my brother and dad to an NERD concert in Richmond. Chester French was the opening act, and we were first row center stage. I was amazed by the band as a whole and got a free special edition CD they were throwing out to the crowd. The band member who caught my eye was the drummer. He was so into his playing, you could tell that it was truly a passion of his.

Manny Dominick was born and raised in Philadelphia. He began playing the drums at the age of 3. Dominick recalls seeing his cousin play drums in church one Sunday and decided he would like to give it a try, since then drums have been his life. “I knew then that I didn’t want to do anything else with my life but play drums, that’s it,” he said.

As chance would have it, one spring break in Cancun, Mexico, Dominick ran into D.A. Wallach and Maxwell Drummey, the founders of the band Chester French. “I bought them a few drinks and got to know them. We bonded over our love for Prince and David Hasselhoff,” Dominick recalled, and the three exchanged numbers. 

After being signed to Star Track, Pharrell’s label, it wasn’t long until Chester French was going on tour and needed a band. They asked Dominick to play drums for them, and Dominick’s brother, Omar, played bass and the rest, as they say, is history.

This year, Dominick is focusing on working and playing with new artist Hope, who he says along with Chester French is one of the best people he has drummed for. 

In the short time I interviewed him, Dominick seemed to be a very humble and caring man. He talked about how his family has encouraged him throughout his career. He has dazzled many with his talent, and I am sure we have not heard the last from Manny Dominick.

Column by Jenny Hypes. Jenny can be reached at

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