Jazz Drummer Jeff Hamilton Talks About JVO, Mapex Drums, Touring, & Mentoring

Mar 9, 2020

UPDATE (3/10/20): Just heard from Jeff that his Nashville concert with Jack Jones has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, so he won't be bringing his Mapex drums to Cincinnati for the induction performance with the Blue Wisp Big Band.  

UPDATE#2 (3/11/20): Because of the coronavirus issue, the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Mt. St. Joseph University has been postponed until hopefully late May or early June.

Jazz drummer Jeff Hamilton's in much demand these days.  He's touring and recording with his two trios and as well as the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.  Some jazz fans were lucky to see his perform at Caffe Vivace with his Akiko/Hamilton/Dechter Trio, and he's returning to Cincinnati on March 22nd to sit in with the Blue Wisp Big Band as part of the 6th Annual Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Mt. St. Joseph University from 3-5pm that afternoon.

On March 4th, I spoke by phone with Jeff who's been a friend of mine since the late '70s when he first joined the LA4 playing with Ray Brown, Laurinda Almeida, and Bud Shank.  Since then, he's gone on to form the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with bassist John Clayton and has recorded with a long list of musicians like Diana Krall, Leon Russell, Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Oscar Peterson, Woody Herman, Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Streisand, Mark Murphy, and many more.

During our conversation, he talks about his contract with Mapex Drums, friendship with John von Ohlen, traveling with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, playing with the Blue Wisp Big Band, and mentoring young drummers.