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Jazz Magazine describes him as “the drummer of his generation” and, indeed, GREGORY HUTCHINSON is one of the most highly respected musicians of our time. His mastery of timing and expression of rhythms is at the core of his personal style. He is a musician’s drummer; soundly rooted in the jazz tradition, he is able to approach all styles of music with supreme accuracy and imagination, decorating compositions with his natural feel and mind-blowing innovation.
The Brooklyn native began to nurture his passion for playing at the very young age of 3. He recalls his first drum set lasting a total of 5 minutes; “I proceeded to put the sticks through the drumhead and not on top of it. I didn’t know about Ted Reed stick control,” he muses, “and now fast forward many years, here I am.” His dedication to the instrument was apparent in junior high school, and his instructors took notice. At the young age of 12, he would arrive at school an hour early each day and stay behind an hour after. He was encouraged to audition for two music high schools and describes his not being accepted as “the best thing that could have happened to me.” It encouraged him to spend the next four years practicing and also led him to Justin Diccicio, who became his mentor.
His professional career began right out of high school, when he was introduced to Red Rodney after playing in a big band for a year. He quickly became known as a young phenom in the jazz community, sharing the stage with the likes of not only Rodney, but also Betty Carter and Ray Brown while still in his early 20s. He is one of the few musicians today who had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the great originators of jazz music. Since then he has worked with a virtual who’s who of the jazz world. His time signatures and beat compositions have won him praise from the hip-hop community as well as leading him to work with powerhouses Common, Madlib, and Questlove of the Roots.