May 27, 1927|
The Bronx, New York
|Origin||New York City|
|Died||October 11, 2011
Los Angeles, California
|Occupation(s)||Musician and Teacher|
|Years active||c. 1946–2011|
|Website||Official web site|
Gruber grew up in the nascent New York City bebop scene. Although he started his performance career as a tap dancer, by the mid-1940s while still in his teens he had toured as a drummer with Rudy Vallée and played with Harry Gibson. In 1949 Gruber began playing with Charlie Parker among many others.
After fighting his own heroin addiction, Gruber left New York City shortly after Parker's death in 1955. He settled in Los Angeles in 1957 after a stint in Las Vegas, where he continued working as a professional jazz drummer. Gruber began teaching drums in the mid-1960s at a Los Angeles music store owned by vibraphonist Terry Gibbs.
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. The large framed award featured a classic photo of legendary jazz drummers: Buddy Rich, 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.
Gruber's former drum student, Neil Peart of Rush, lauded Gruber in his literary and tutorial work. Peart authored a biographical obituary tribute which was posted to the Hudson Music website and to Gruber's own web site.
- "In Memoriam: Freddie Gruber", Hudson Music
- Tamarkin, Jeff. "Drummer Freddie Gruber Dies at 84", JazzTimes, October 19, 2011. (accessed 13 December 2014)
- Chamberlain, Rich. "Freddie Gruber dies aged 84", Rhythm Magazine
- Milkowski, Bill. "Freddie Gruber: None of a Kind", JazzTimes, November 2004. (accessed 13 December 2014)
- "Freddie Gruber", Drummerworld
- ""NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: November, 2008 - The Drums Of October" NeilPeart.net
- Stav, Steve. "Percussion, photography cross paths in Rhythm & Light - Carrie Nuttall a.k.a. Mrs. Neil Peart" Ink 19 Magazine
- Iwasaki, Scott. "Photos dramatize 'Rhythm and Light'", Deseret News
- Robb, Gregory (2003-11-01). "Borne of the elements: December 2003". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- Hood, Phil. "A Conversation With Freddie Gruber" Archived October 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Drum Magazine.
- "DC LIVE with Freddie Gruber and Former Students", Drum Channel
- 2011 "Lifetime Achievement Award for Education from Zildjian", Zildjian Company Flickr Group
- Dolbear, Mike. "Interview with Daniel Glass",MikeDolBear Official Website
- DeChristopher, John. "Zildjian family remembers Freddie Gruber" Archived October 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Zildjian
- 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.
- 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