Jazz Drummer

Modern Drummer is the world’s most widely read drum magazine, is dedicated entirely to the art of drumming and caters to the needs of amateur, semi-pro, and professional drummers.


Karl Latham

Hello, Modern Drummer readers! It’s been a while since I last checked in from “the North Woods.” I see all is great in drum land—so many amazing new talents every day! Over the past couple of years I’ve been very…

Modern Drummer
Aug 27, 2014

Chico Hamilton: 1921–2013

Jazz drummer Foreststorn “Chico” Hamilton died this past Monday at the age of ninety-two. Hamilton was notable for his refined approach to the drumset, which leaned more heavily on creative orchestrations than on flash, an approach that in the 1950s…

Modern Drummer
Nov 27, 2013

Sonny Igoe Passes

Noted jazz drummer, educator, and MD Advisory Board member Sonny Igoe has passed away, at age eighty-eight. Igoe was born in New Jersey and began playing drums at an early age. When he was sixteen he won the Gene Krupa…

Modern Drummer
Mar 29, 2012

Mel Lewis: A Quiet Fire

This is an adaptation of the Mel Lewis In Memoriam article that ran in the June 1990 issue of Modern Drummer magazine.   Often, when Mel Lewis was playing with his Jazz Orchestra, he would break into this little smile.…

Modern Drummer
Jan 10, 2012

Peter Erskine: Taste, Skill, And Artistic Ambition

Peter Erskine, one of the most articulate, enduringly popular drummers of the past few decades, has played drums since he was four, graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and studied under famed percussion instructor George Gaber at Indiana…

Modern Drummer
Jul 20, 2010

Influencer: Alan Dawson

Alan Dawson was an outstanding jazz drummer and a legendary teacher. He was strongly influenced by Papa Jo Jones, and his first break came in the early ’50s with the Lionel Hampton band. By 1951 he was working with Sabby…

Modern Drummer
Dec 7, 2009

Philly Joe Jones: One Of The Greatest Hard Boppers

Philly Joe Jones is one of the greatest of the hard boppers. His contributions to the art of jazz drumming are immeasurable. He was a virtuoso with a pair of brushes, and a genius at turning the rudiments into fluent…

Modern Drummer
Dec 3, 2009

Lewis Nash: Jazz's Most Valuable Player

by Ken Micallef Swing, swang, swingin’! Splang-a-lang! Snap, crackle, pop! These well-worn words go a long way toward describing this thing of ours we call jazz, but they also illustrate the style of one of the idiom’s modern masters: Lewis…

Modern Drummer
Mar 25, 2009

Jeff Hamilton: Swinging to Success

by Robyn Flans Few jazz drummers have had careers as rewarding and successful as Jeff Hamilton’s. And with several new releases and projects in the works–and an MD Readers Poll win–2006 may be one of his finest years yet. The…

Modern Drummer
Oct 15, 2006

Steve Smith Update

There have been some major changes lately in Steve Smith’s two touring bands. “Over the past eight years Buddy’s Buddies has developed a unique ‘small big band’ sound and direction,” Steve explains. “We’ve moved away from exclusively playing music associated…

Modern Drummer
Aug 25, 2006

Roy Haynes

To help celebrate this milestone, we thought this a perfect opportunity to revisit Mr. Haynes with a cover story. And we asked veteran jazz writer (and longtime friend) Ira Gitler to interview Roy. The following story reveals a lot about…

Modern Drummer
May 12, 2004