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Paul Yoon

(b Los Angeles, CA, April 2, 1953). American taiko artist. Of Japanese American descent, he studied drumming, especially jazz and rock, from an early age. He first experienced taiko in the early 1970s and joined Kinnara Taiko in 1975. His interest in taiko was fueled by an emergent sense of his ethnic identity. He went on to study with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo in ...

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Carlos Palomares

(b ?New York, NY, March 25, 1966). American rock drummer and session musician. Ferrer was raised in New York City. His father was a Latin percussionist who emigrated from Cuba in 1957. Ferrer grew up listening to Cuban music and Elvis Presley, but abruptly changed musical tastes after attending a concert by the heavy metal band KISS. Other glam, metal, and hard rock bands, such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Cheap Trick, formed the crux of his early influences....

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Katherine Hagedorn

(b Pueblo Nuevo, Matanzas, Cuba, 1931). American cuban drummer, craftsman, and instrument maker. He descended from Lucumí, Kongo, Abakwá, and rumba musicians, and learned each of these Afro-Cuban performance traditions. At five he inherited a set of batá drums, and ten years later he was performing in Lucumí ceremonies. In ...

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Wendy F. Hsu

(b Taipei, Taiwan, Dec 15, 1973). Rock musician and songwriter of Taiwanese birth. Hsu moved to Houston, Texas, with his family in 1989. His brother, Kevin Hsu, was a pop star in Taiwan who signed to Golden Point/BMG. Self-taught in guitar, keyboards, voice, and drums, Hsu formed in ...

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Stephen Slawek

(b Bombay [now Mumbai], India, March 9, 1951). Percussionist and tabla player of Indian birth. Hussain began studying music at the age of three with his father, the late Ustad Alla Rakha. He presented his debut performance in Bombay at age 15, providing tabla accompaniment for the master of the Indian santur, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma. Hussain’s rise to fame was rapid and sustained, leading to international renown after he traveled to the United States in ...

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Mary Talusan

(b Anaheim, CA, Nov 15, 1970). American jazz percussionist and composer. Of Filipino heritage, Ibarra grew up in Houston, Texas. She received a music diploma from Mannes College and a BA from Goddard College. She studied drums with Buster Smith and Vernel Fournier and percussion with Milford Graves. She also played with William Parker and his big band, The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. In the 1990s, Ibarra became interested in Philippine musical traditions and took lessons on kulintang from master artist Danongan Kalanduyan. She joined the avant-garde free jazz quartet led by David S. Ware and became well known in the New York jazz scene. She collaborated on several albums with a number of respected musicians such as Assif Tsahar, Cooper-Moore, Charles Burnham, Chris Speed, Wadada Leo Smith, and Pauline Oliveros, notably on the album ...

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Michael Baumgartner

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 25, 1931; d New York, NY, Nov 22, 2011). American jazz drummer and composer. He grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where he began playing guitar and drums at the age of 12. During the Korean War he studied at the Navy School of Music in Washington before being stationed in Brooklyn from ...

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Michael Conklin

(b Phoenix, AZ, Dec 30, 1958). American drummer. He developed an early interest in music and began playing drums at age ten. By his late teens he was performing locally with small jazz ensembles and had garnered invaluable experience as a sideman for Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Red Garland, Lee Konitz, and Slide Hampton. He moved to New York with hopes of procuring steady work and soon joined Betty Carter and her trio (...

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John L. Clark Jr.

(b Chicago, IL, June 22, 1903; d Palm Springs, CA, June 7, 1971). American jazz drummer and bandleader. Born into a wealthy family, he began playing drums and was hired by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, with whom he played and recorded in ...

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Gareth Dylan Smith

(b New York, NY, Dec 15, 1931; d New York, NY, March 16, 1988). American jazz drummer. He is widely acknowledged as one of the great, if underappreciated, jazz drummers, developing a new vocabulary on the instrument in the early 1960s along with Billy Higgins and Ed Blackwell. He came to fame in the explorative, pioneering, and avant-garde band of bassist Charles Mingus, which he joined in ...

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(b Savannah, GA, July 17, 1933). American jazz drummer. Riley moved to New York at age four and as a teenager began music studies with Cecil Scott, in whose band he also played. After returning to Harlem following his service as a member of the 187th Airborne band (...

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Michael Fitzgerald

(b Miami, FL, Sept 3, 1932). American jazz drummer. Roker moved to Philadelphia at age ten and was introduced to music in school bands and local drum and bugle corps, in which he played by ear. Formal studies began at age 23, following service in the US Army from ...

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J. Bradford Robinson

(b Oak Park, IL, April 26, 1907; d Newark, NJ, Dec 9, 1948). American jazz drummer. As a member of the Austin High School Gang in the mid-1920s he had a formative influence on Chicago-style jazz. In the late 1920s he toured Europe, where he made his first recordings in Berlin (...

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Matthew Alan Thomas

(b Pittsburgh, PA, Jan 20, 1960). American percussionist. He began playing snare drum at nine years old and performed with the Pittsburgh Youth SO as a teenager. He studied classical percussion at Duquesne University before transferring to Berklee College of Music, where he met Kevin Eubanks, Branford Marsalis, and Wallace Roney. He frequently performed on vibraphone as a Berklee student and played with Marvin “Smitty” Smith in the school’s fusion ensemble. Watts recorded and toured regularly with Wynton Marsalis’s quintet (...