Freddie Gruber

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Freddie Gruber
Born (1927-05-27)May 27, 1927
Died October 11, 2011(2011-10-11) (aged 84)
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician and Teacher
Website Official web site
Notable instruments
Drum set

Freddie Gruber (May 27, 1927 – October 11, 2011) was a jazz drummer and teacher to a number of professional drummers.[1][2][3]

Gruber grew up in the nascent New York bebop scene, and played with Charlie Parker, among many others. Gruber's student list includes Vinnie Colaiuta, Neil Peart,[4][5][6] Steve Smith,[7] Dave Weckl and Bruce Becker.[8] Gruber was an instructor and mentor at the Drum Channel Studio.[9]

On January 15, 2011, Gruber was honored at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California with a lifetime achievement award for educational excellence throughout his career.[10] The large framed award featured a classic photo of legendary jazz drummers: Buddy Rich,[11] Jo Jones (known as Papa Jo Jones in his later years), and Gruber himself. Under the photo was a plaque, and a cymbal that was signed by Armand Zildjian's children.[12]

Gruber's former drum student, Neil Peart of Rush, lauded Gruber in his literary and tutorial work.[13] Peart authored a biographical obituary tribute which was posted to the Hudson Music website and to Gruber's own web site.[14]


  1. ^ Chamberlain, Rich. "Freddie Gruber dies aged 84", Rhythm Magazine
  2. ^ Milkowski, Bill. "Freddie Gruber: None of a Kind", Jazz Times
  3. ^ "Freddie Gruber", Drummerworld
  4. ^ ""NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: November, 2008 - The Drums Of October"
  5. ^ Stav, Steve. "Percussion, photography cross paths in Rhythm & Light - Carrie Nuttall a.k.a. Mrs. Neil Peart" Ink 19 Magazine
  6. ^ Iwasaki, Scott. "Photos dramatize 'Rhythm and Light'", Deseret News
  7. ^ Robb, Gregory (2003-11-01). "Borne of the elements: December 2003". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  8. ^ Hood, Phil. "A Conversation With Freddie Gruber", Drum Magazine.
  9. ^ "DC LIVE with Freddie Gruber and Former Students", Drum Channel
  10. ^ 2011 "Lifetime Achievement Award for Education from Zildjian", Zildjian Company Flickr Group
  11. ^ Dolbear, Mike. "Interview with Daniel Glass",MikeDolBear Official Website
  12. ^ DeChristopher, John. "Zildjian family remembers Freddie Gruber", Zildjian
  13. ^ Peart, Neil (2002) [originally released on VHS in 1996]. A Work in Progress (DVD video, DVD-ROM with Internet features, 2 booklets). Warner Bros. Classics. produced and directed by Paul Siegel, Rob Wallis ; production, Langa Communications. Miami, Florida: Warner Bros. Publications. ISBN 9780757990298. OCLC 52762882. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ "In Memoriam: Freddie Gruber", Hudson Music


  • Jazz Improv Magazine Tribute to Buddy Rich: "Way Beyond Drums, Buddy Rich, A Portrait of the Man." (Spring 2006)
  • The Commandments of Early Rhythm and Blues Drumming - by Zoro and Daniel Glass (2008)
  • Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road - by Neil Peart (2002)
  • Travelling Music: Traveling Music : The Soundtrack to My Life and Times - by Neil Peart (2003)
  • Rhythm and Light - by Carrie Nuttall (2005)
  • Rush: Chemistry : The Definitive Biography - by Jon Collins (2005)
  • Roadshow : Landscape With Drums: A Concert Tour by Motorcycle - by Neil Peart (2006)
  • Far and Away: A Prize Every Time - by Neil Peart (2011)
  • Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)
  • A Work in Progress