Andrew Cyrille

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Andrew Cyrille
photo by Shawn Brackbill
photo by Shawn Brackbill
Background information
Birth nameAndrew Charles Cyrille
Born (1939-11-10) November 10, 1939 (age 84)
OriginBrooklyn, New York, U.S.
GenresJazz, avant-garde jazz, post-bop
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader
Andrew Cyrille

Andrew Charles Cyrille (born November 10, 1939)[1] is an American avant-garde jazz drummer. Throughout his career, he has performed both as a leader and a sideman in the bands of Walt Dickerson and Cecil Taylor, among others. AllMusic biographer Chris Kelsey wrote: "Few free-jazz drummers play with a tenth of Cyrille's grace and authority. His energy is unflagging, his power absolute, tempered only by an ever-present sense of propriety."[2]

Life and career[edit]

Cyrille was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States,[3] into a Haitian family.[4][5] He began studying science at St. John's University, but was already playing jazz in the evenings and switched his studies to the Juilliard School.[6] His first drum teachers were fellow Brooklyn-based drummers Willie Jones and Lenny McBrowne;[7] through them, Cyrille met Max Roach.[7] Nonetheless, Cyrille became a disciple of Philly Joe Jones.[4][7]

His first professional engagement was as an accompanist of singer Nellie Lutcher,[3] and he had an early recording session with Coleman Hawkins.[8] Trumpeter Ted Curson introduced him to pianist Cecil Taylor when Cyrille was 18.[8]

He joined the Cecil Taylor unit in 1965, and worked with Taylor over a period of 15 years.[3] He later formed a musical partnership with Milford Graves, and the two recorded a drum duet album in 1974.[9] In addition to recording as a bandleader, he has recorded and/or performed with musicians including David Murray, Irène Schweizer, Marilyn Crispell, Carla Bley, Butch Morris and Reggie Workman.[10][11] Cyrille was a member of the group, Trio 3, with Oliver Lake and Reggie Workman.[12]


As leader or co-leader[edit]

With Trio 3[edit]

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (1999). "Cyrille, Andrew Charles". The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 161.
  2. ^ Kelsey, Chris. "Andrew Cyrille: Biography". Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 110. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  4. ^ a b Patmos, Michael (February 1, 2014). "Andrew Cyrille: Drum Dialogue" (PDF). Modern Drummer: 54–59. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  5. ^ Chinen, Nate (October 17, 2016). "Andrew Cyrille's Late-Career Renaissance". New York Times. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  6. ^ Bob Young and Al Stankus (1992). Jazz Cooks. Stewart Tabori and Chang. pp. 92–93. ISBN 1-55670-192-6.
  7. ^ a b c Fragman, Dominic (April 26, 2019). "Andrew Cyrille: Art Science, Part 1". Jazz Times. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Case, Brian (October 4, 1975), "Make like a chimp (or choose your own alternative)", NME, pp. 28–29
  9. ^ Olewnick, Brian. "Andrew Cyrille / Milford Graves: Dialogue of the Drums". AllMusic. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  10. ^ "Andrew Cyrille: Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  11. ^ "Andrew Cyrille". All About Jazz. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  12. ^ "Encounter - Trio 3 | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved July 26, 2021.

External links[edit]