Drummers / Percussionists
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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BIOGRAPHY

Stan Levey

Stan Levey, born on April 5, 1926 in Philadelphia, PA, was American jazz drummer, best known for being one of the early pioneers of bebop, along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach. He was one of the very few white drummers (left-handed as well) involved in the music genre.

As a youngster, Stan showed promise as a boxer, and considered it briefly as a career, but music won out. He played in Philly with Dizzy Gillespie's group in 1942, at the tender age of 17. Soon after, he went to New York, where he and Dizzy worked on 52nd Street with Charlie Parker and Oscar Pettiford. He went on to play on over 1400 recordings and work with most of the big names in the music business at that time.

Levey retired from the music business in 1973 to become a professional photographer.

In 2005, Stan Levey released an autobiographical DVD, The Original Original, which includes Stan's fascinating tales of his days with the famed Parker/Gillespie group, Stan Kenton Orchestra and Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars along with music, film clips and photographs of many jazz greats captured by world famous photographers William Claxton and Herman Leonard, and include many never before seen photographs from Stan's own personal collection.

Stan passed away on April 19, 2005 at the age of 79.


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