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Stix Hooper

Renowned Drummer/Composer/Producer Proves You Can Go Home Again

After a twenty-five year absence, Stix Hooper recently returned to his hometown of Houston in order to acknowledge and reconnect with his Texas roots. The internationally renowned artist came home to share his new music—as well as a myriad of unique experiences gained over the past quarter century.

Hooper is a multiple Grammy nominee and a recipient of many national and international awards and citations. He is considered to be one of the world’s top drummer/percussionists, composers, vocalists, and producers. He’s best known to music fans around the globe as the founder of the Crusaders, the seminal instrumental group famed for their amalgamated jazz sound.

Hooper’s return to Houston marked a return to his musical roots. He developed an interest in music, drums, and percussion at a very early age, and devoted much of his time at Houston’s E. O. Smith Junior High to the study of all aspects of music, including composition and songwriting. After graduating from E.O Smith he went on to Phillis Wheatley High School and was concert/marching band president for two years, as well as an outstanding member of the jazz band.  During his tenure at the school he also formed a band called the Swingsters, later to be called the Modern Jazz Sextet.

Then it was on to Texas Southern University, where Hooper continued his musical curriculum. At the same time he studied with members of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and other professional musicians.

Hooper then headed to the West Coast. There, in 1961 he founded the Jazz Crusaders, a group that featured other Phillis Wheatley High School alums Hubert Laws, Joe Sample, Wayne Henderson, and Wilton Felder. In 1971 the group shortened its name to the Crusaders—and went on to become a pioneering force in the blending of jazz, and other genres, into an internationally acclaimed sound.

Upon his return home to Houston, Hooper along with his children, Meghan and Trevor, spent time with friends and visited familiar sites—including a special visit to Phillis Wheatley High school, where he gave an informative presentation to the student body, as well as leading an interactive workshop with members of the Wheatley band and music students.

Hooper also enjoyed a tour of the Houston-based Pro-Mark drumstick factory. Before establishing Pro-Mark in 1957, company founder Herb Brochstein owned a drum shop in downtown Houston. Hooper bought his first set of drums, sticks, and percussion gear from Brochstein, and the two have been close friends ever since.  

Hooper’s visit to Houston wasn’t all about reminiscing. He’s been too busy for that. He was also there to promote his three new recordings, recently released on his own record label, Stix Hooper Enterprises. Read more at www.stixhooper.com, or visit Stix's Facebook page for news and updates.


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