Jeff Hamilton Trio, Thurs. December 13, 2012

Jeff Hamilton Trio

Thursday, December 13
Kuumbwa Jazz

“… unique, compelling, and, above all, swinging.” – Modern Drummer magazine

Voted Jazz Drummer of the Year for 2012 by Modern Drummer magazine, Jeff Hamilton’s dynamic style has kept him very much in-demand among the jazz elite. With the creative subtlety of Shelly Manne and the powerful swing of Philly Joe Jones, Hamilton is a paragon of tasteful musicality, whether drumming in the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (co-led with bassist John Clayton), performing with jazz luminaries Monty Alexander and Diana Krall or leading his own trio. Together for over a decade, the Jeff Hamilton Trio features Tamir Hendelman on piano and Christopher Luty on bass.

Growing up in Indiana, Hamilton was a young fan of big band music thanks to his parents’ record collection. Early on he realized that his musical purpose was not playing pop or rock, but furthering the jazz tradition. At age 8, he took up the drums, imitating his heroes Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. As a young professional musician, his first high profile gig was with the New Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1974. He went on to work in the big bands of Lionel Hampton then Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd. Once mentored by Philly Joe Jones, Hamilton remembers Jones’ admonishment about playing brushes, “make it look pretty.” Indeed, Hamilton’s relaxed, elegant drum technique is very much reflective of his main influences, Shelly Manne and Philly Joe Jones. In 1978, he took over the drum chair from Shelly Manne, in the all-star group the L.A. Four with bassist Ray Brown, saxophonist Bud Shank, and guitarist Laurindo Almeida. Throughout the mid-’80s, he performed with the royalty of mainstream jazz: Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, and Monty Alexander. In 1988, Hamilton joined the Ray Brown Trio, one of the most popular in modern jazz, which featured the blues and gospel-tinged piano of Gene Harris (of the Three Sounds).

Since 1995, Hamilton has led his own trio (currently featuring pianist Tamir Hendelman and bassist Christopher Luty). Specializing in straight-ahead swinging, the Jeff Hamilton Trio exemplifies the evolution of the modern jazz piano trio, incorporating a full palette of rhythmic and harmonic innovation. Authoritative and powerful, or sensitive and subtle, there is no doubt who is “in charge” of the groove when Hamilton is behind the drums. His latest recording, Red Sparkle is on Capri Records.

Jeff Hamilton Trio

DATE: Thursday, December 13, 2012
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $20/Adv $23/Door
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Sandy Sloan


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