Arjuna “RJ” Contreras is the drummer for the iconic Rockabilly/ Psychobilly band, The Reverend Horton Heat. He is often noted for the energy, soul, and excitement he brings to music, both as a performer and an educator. In previous years he has worked with Grammy Award-winners Donna Summer and Brave Combo. Prior to joining Reverend Horton Heat, Arjuna spent 6 years as the drummer for the popular Texas Country band, Eleven Hundred Springs.
Mr. Contreras has benefitted from great teachers throughout his develop as a musician… from private lesson teachers and band directors during his middle school and high school years, to internationally known educators during his college years at the University of North Texas, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree. He understands the importance of great musical instruction, and sees the education of the next generation of drummers as an important part of his musical journey. To that end, he has taught music through drum set and other percussion instruments in private lesson and public school settings to school age students, and adults alike, for over 20 years now. Mr. Contreras’ students have gained a great deal of knowledge and skill through studying with him and have developed, or enhanced, their love of music. Many of his students have gone on to study music in college and have chosen it as their career.
Arjuna is a highly sought-after clinician and guest artist, as well, and has presented at major educational music gatherings such as the Texas Music Educators Association Convention (February 2018) and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (November 2016).
Mr. Contreras is a member of the Percussive Arts Society (where he serves on the Drum Set Committee), and is an active endorser for Ludwig Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Humes & Berg Cases, Porter & Davies Tactile Monitoring Systems, and Prologix Percussion .