Adrian Harpham

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Adrian Harpham (born Adrian Geoffrey Harpham, Los Angeles, California) is an American session drummer, record producer, recording artist/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in New York City. He grew up in Southern California, Philadelphia and the Boston area.


Adrian's parents are Geoffrey Galt Harpham and Beatrice De Jesus Souza Harpham. His father is from Park Ridge, Illinois. He was a college professor and much published scholar and now runs the National Humanities Center in Chapel Hill, NC. His mother is from Macau, China (she is Peruvian/ Chinese/Portuguese descent) and was a playwright. Raised by his father, he moved a lot as a child and was exposed to many notable writers, intelligencia and music and art. He heard everything from Art Tatum to the Beatles to Bob Dylan to Ricard Wagner to Duke Ellington on any given day around the house. By the age of 9, He discovered visual arts and began drawing, sketching and painting. He became very serious, attending classes at the Philadelphia College Of Art on the weekends. However, by middle school, he discovered rock radio and was bit by the music bug.

He started playing drums at age 14, being mentored by local Philadelphia drummers Andy Kravitz and Steven Wolf.[citation needed] He was self-taught and primarily into rock and blues. However, during the summer following 9th grade, he attended an outdoor concert by Miles Davis on Penn's Landing in Philadelphia and (the same month) a friend played him Jeff Beck's Blow by Blow album - completely turning his music concept upside down. As a result, by 10th grade, he interest expanded towards jazz, jazz/rock fusion and funk styles. Moving to Boston area for the 2nd half of high school, he began formal private studies with Russell Leach and jazz legend, Alan Dawson. Resulting in further growth stylistically and technically.

Following high school graduation, he relocated back to Philadelphia, continued studies with big band drummer, Carl Mottola[1][not in citation given] and played his very earliest semi professional gigs in clubs. One year later, he began studies at Berklee College of Music, which he did for next 3 years- continuing private studies with Ed Uribe, Gil Graham and Alan Hall and beginning his professional career as a drummer in the Boston area. Notable gigs from this time included: guitarist Bruce Bartlett, Tavares, Letters to Cleo and Myanna.[citation needed]

Upon arrival in NYC, Adrian became a freelance session drummer, sharing the stage and studio with a wide range of artists, including: Lucy Pearl,(featuring Raphael Saadiq, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Dawn Robinson), Leo Nocentelli (of the Meters), Icons Of Funk(featuring Nocentelli, Fred Wesley, Bernie Worrell and bassist Bill Dickens), Chromeo, Amel Larrieux/Groove Theory, Dr. John, Henry Butler, Donald Harrison, Pee Wee Ellis, Thalía, Doug Wamble, Oz Noy Charlie Hunter, Imani Coppola, Brazilian Girls, Coolio, Tom Scott, Patti Rothberg, Leona Naess, Jen Chapin, Adam Cohen, Monday Michiru, Julian Coryell, Tre Hardson (from the Pharcyde), Jason Miles[2] and DJ Logic/Global Noize,[3] Screaming Headless Torsos, Reuben Wilson, John Tropea, Melvin Sparks, The Shirelles, The Chiffons, The Crystals, Tommy Roe, Billy J. Kramer, Gloria Gaynor, Popa Chubby and The Coasters.

In more recent years, Adrian is emerging as a record producer and recording artist in his own right. He has worked on 25 albums including two of his own, on which he plays most of the instruments, sings and writes the songs. In 2010, Adrian his first album, Music From The Mind's Eye, was released on Amel Larrieux's label, Blisslife records. His second album, On The Edge Of Change, was released independently in 2014. In 2016, the debut record for the supergroup, Light Blue Movers was released on Ropeadope records. He is a key member along with keyboardist Deron Johnson, singer/guitarist Gabriel Gordon and Israeli bassist Jonathan Levy. He is the producer, co-writer and mixing engineer in addition to playing drums, some keys, additional guitar, percussion and backing vocals for this project. It was released in March 2016. Also, in 2016, he formed a production company Big Pulse Productions and his own imprint label, Icon Recordings (within Ropeadope) in 2017. The first release on the imprint was "Day Is Calling" by the artist, Leyeux in June 2017. As of Fall 2018, he has released recordings from Stephanie Mckay, Brockett Parsons, Fima Ephron and a second Light Blue Movers album - all on the imprint, Modern Icon.

Selected Discography[edit]

As solo artist[edit]

As co-leader[edit]

Session work[edit]

As producer[edit]

Television Appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Writer, MARTIN DeANGELIS Staff. "A Life Lived: Drummer from Upper Township played for Elvis, Sinatra, Don Rickles".
  2. ^ "Biography - Jason Miles".
  3. ^ "Global Noize - DJ Logic, Global Noize - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  4. ^ a b "Adrian Harpham | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-05-10.

External links[edit]