Gerald Cleaver (musician)

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Gerald Cleaver (born May 4, 1963[1]) is an African-American jazz drummer from Detroit, Michigan.[2]

Early life[edit]

Cleaver's father was drummer John Cleaver Jr., originally from Springfield, Ohio, and his mother was from Greenwood, Mississippi.[1] Gerald had six older siblings.[1]


Cleaver joined the jazz faculty at the University of Michigan in 1995. He has performed or recorded with Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, Roscoe Mitchell, Miroslav Vitous, Michael Formanek, Tomasz Stanko, and others.[1]

Under the name Veil of Names, Cleaver released an album called Adjust on the Fresh Sounds New Talent label in 2001. It featured Maneri, Ben Monder, Andrew Bishop, Craig Taborn and Reid Anderson and was a Best Debut Recording Nominee by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Cleaver currently leads the groups Uncle June, Black Host, Violet Hour and NiMbNl as well as working as a sideman with many different artists.

Personal life[edit]

Cleaver married vocalist Jean Carla Rodea in 2008.[1]


With Samuel Blaser

  • 7th Heaven (Between The Lines, 2008)
  • Boundless (Hatology, 2011) with Marc Ducret
  • As The Sea (Hatology, 2012) with Marc Ducret

With Rob Brown

With Michael Formanek

With Roscoe Mitchell

With Joe Morris

With William Parker

With Matthew Shipp

With Tomasz Stańko

With Craig Taborn

  • Light Made Lighter (Thirsty Ear Recordings, 2001)
  • Chants (ECM, 2013) with Thomas Morgan

With Miroslav Vitous


  1. ^ a b c d e Adler, David R. (December 13, 2013) "Home & Away with Gerald Cleaver". JazzTimes.
  2. ^ Layne, Joslyn. "Biography: Gerald Cleaver". AMG. Retrieved 13 May 2010.