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Stephen K. Gadd was born on September 4th, 1945, in Rochester, New York. Steve's uncle was his first drum instructor, and began teaching him when Steve was only three. Gadd enjoyed playing the marches, especially those of Sousa. He attended the Manhattan School of Music for two years before going back to Rochester to attend Eastman School of Music. Soon after this, he was drafted into the army where he played with the corps band for three years. Not long after, he joined Chick Corea's band Return To Forever.

He is known for mixing elements of orchestral composition with his jazz style, and for having perfect technique. His approach to the drum kit is highly organized, while simultaneously spontaneous and highly energetic. Gadd played sessions invloving several types of music extensively in New York studios from the early 70s onwards and was known for being able to provide both unique and excellent rhythms and accomplinaments for a broad range of musics. He developed a unique style of linear drumming, in which no two drums are sounded at the same time, and often involving incredibly rapid inter-drum patterns. He played sessions with a range of musicians, from Charles Mingus, to George Benson to Paul Simon, whom he toured with in the early nineties, playing drums and directing the percussion players in the Rhythm Of The Saints tour.

Many early drum machines used his sound, being that he was totally clean, but tuned his drums to specific notes, often with sympathetic harmonies in the tunings of the resonant heads. In 1976 he played with funk band Stuff, which also included Eric Gale and Richard Tee. More recently, Gadd has continued a busy music life, playing in the studio and with the Manhattan Jazz Quintet.


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