Drummers / Percussionists
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BIOGRAPHY

Elvin Jones

Elvin Jones, born Elvin Ray Jones on September 9, 1927, in Pontiac, Michigan, was an American jazz drummer, best known for his drumming within the post-bop jazz era.

Elvin began a fascination with the drums at the age of two, and as a young boy, would watch the drummers in the circus marching band parades as they passed by his home. Continuing with his passion for the drums, Elvin joined his high school's black marching band. It was here that he developed his foundation in the drum rudiments. 

Jones served in the US Army from 1946 to 1949. Upon his military discharge he returned home penniless. Jones borrowed $35 from his sister to purchase his first drumset, launching his professional music career. Jones moved to New York City in 1955, performing with the likes of Teddy Charles, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and Bud Powell.

Elvin went on to work with John Coltrane (1960-1966) along with sidemen Jimmy Garrison on bass and McCoy Tyner on piano. It was this quartet formation that produced the highly celebrated albums, A Love Supreme.

Elvin Jones lead several of his own small jazz groups under the name, The Elvin Jones Jazz Machine. He also recorded with both of his brothers, jazz musicians Hank Jones and Thad Jones.

Elvin died on May 18, 2004; he was 76.


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