One of the most influential drummers of all time, Steve Gadd set a new standard in contemporary drumming techniques and performance, and in doing so launched a thousand imitators.
There is no drummer alive today who in some way has not been affected by Steve Gadd. His influence and playing on tracks like “Aja” and “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” is still very much felt and still to this day, and there is no one who can get “inside” a tune and find the “pocket” quite like the great Steve Gadd.
Stephen Kendall Gadd was born April 9, 1945 in Rochester, NY. Steve’s Uncle, a drummer in the army, encouraged him to take drum lessons at the age of seven; by the time Steve was 11 he had sat in with Dizzy Gillespie. He studied music at Eastman College, Rochester, playing in wind ensemble and concert band, and at nights played in clubs with Chick Corea and Chuck Mangione. After college, Gadd was drafted into army and spent three years in a military band. After the army, he gigged and worked with a big band in Rochester.
It was after relocating to New York City that Steve became one of the most sought after studio musicians in town. From then on, Gadd became, and remains, one of the best-known and highly regarded session and studio drummers in the industry. Besides Steely Dan and Paul Simon, Steve has also recorded and/or performed with Chick Corea, Van McCoy, Rickie Lee Jones, Joe Cocker, Grover Washington, Jr., Kate Bush, Chet Baker, Bob James, Chuck Mangione, Bette Midler, David Ruffin, Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra, Carly Simon…and on and on.
Today Steve is just as busy as he ever was with one of the most intense recording and touring schedules in the business, spending time in the studio and on the road with Eric Clapton, James Taylor, and his own group, The Steve Gadd Band.