In many ways, world-renowned Jazz drummer Jeff Hamilton is something of a local talent. The Richmond, Ind., native started accompanying his parents Oscar Peterson albums on drums at the age of 8, which ultimately led to his attendance at Indiana University and after school studies with future Blue Wisp Big Band skins legend John Von Ohlen.
Influenced by the likes of Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Shelly Manne, and still in his early twenties, Hamilton went from big break to big break when he joined, in rapid succession, the New Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Lionel Hampton’s Band, the Monty Alexander Trio and Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd, closing down the ’70s and entering the ’80s by replacing his idol Manne in Ray Brown’s L.A.4. In the ’80s, Hamilton played prestige gigs with Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, the Count Basie Orchestra and Monty Alexander. He played with the Ray Brown Trio until the mid-’90s, when he formed his own trio.
The Jeff Hamilton Trio plays Blue Wisp Jazz Club Saturday. Go here to read Brian Baker's full Sound Advice.