Drummers / Percussionists
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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BIOGRAPHY

Papa Jo Jones

Papa Jo Jones, born Jonathan David Samuel Jones on October 7, 1911 in Chicago, IL, was an American jazz drummer, best known for work with Count Basie and the Count Basie Orchestra.

Papa Jo was one of the first drummers to incorporate the use of brushes on the drums. He is also credited for pioneering the role of jazz timekeeping, shifting from the bass drum to the hi-hat (aka sock cymbal).

In 1973, Jo Jones released an album entitled, The Drums, where Jones performs as well as speaks about the basic drum kit,  drummers who influenced or impressed him as an up and coming musician.

His autobiography, Rifftide: The Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones, is based on conversations between Jones and novelist Albert Murray from 1977 to 1985. The book was posthumously published in 2011 by the University of Minnesota Press.

Papa Jo Jones died of pneumonia on September 3, 1985 at the age of 73.


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