Classic Drummer Hall of Fame
Honoring Music's Most Influential Drummers
As voted by the readers of Classic Drummer Magazine
How many 11-year-old drummers get to sit in with the great Dizzy Gillespie? Well for Steve Gadd it was just the beginning of a life of musical innovation and creative influence that continues to this day.
With strong orchestral and jazz roots, Steve Gadd has shaped the sounds of adiverse mix of performers from a wide variety of genres. One of the most in-demand and imitated session players in business, he has supported the likes of Chick Corea, Paul Simon, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Bob James, Nancy Wilson, Joe Cocker, and Al DiMeola. He’s not only recorded but also toured with Gato Barbieri, George Benson, Stanley Clarke, Steely Dan, Joe Cocker, Maynard Ferguson, Roberta Flack, Jim Hall, Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Eric Clapton.
The influence of Steve Gadd on drummers from across the musical spectrum is unmistakable and his technical proficiencies are undeniable. When commenting on the state of the new generation of players, Buddy Rich put it thisway, “Steve Gadd was and probably still is, the best at that particular kind of drumming.
I think that’s because he has a jazz background, so he’s able to incorporate it when he plays... Out of all the drummers I’ve heard, Gadd would have to be the one who has the most class behind the drums.”