Jeff Hamilton (drummer)

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Jeff Hamilton
2018 in Denmark
2018 in Denmark
Background information
Born (1953-08-04) August 4, 1953 (age 70)
Richmond, Indiana, U.S.
Years active1975–present
LabelsMons (de), Azica, Capri

Jeff Hamilton (born August 4, 1953)[1] is an American jazz drummer and co-leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. A former member of the L.A. Four, Hamilton has played with jazz pianist Monty Alexander, bandleader Woody Herman, and singer Rosemary Clooney, and has worked extensively with singer Diana Krall.

Early life[edit]

Hamilton was born in Richmond, Indiana, United States,.[1] From a young age he took piano lessons but was inspired at age five by Gene Krupa[2] and then began drumming at the age of eight.[3] At fifteen, he was invited to play with the Earlham College jazz ensemble.[2] He later attended Indiana University while studying under the tutelage of John Von Ohlen.[2][1]

Music career[edit]

Starting in 1975, he was a member of Monty Alexander's Trio, then Woody Herman's Orchestra from 1977 until 1978.[1] He was a member of the L.A. Four,[1] with whom he made six albums. He co-leads the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with Jeff Clayton and John Clayton.[4] He also leads his own trio, with Jon Hamar on bass and Tamir Hendelman on piano.

Hamilton has worked with Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, the Count Basie Orchestra, Oscar Peterson, and Ray Brown. He toured with Diana Krall and has played on several of her albums. In Japan with Krall in 2002, Hamilton became a fan of Hammond B3 organist Atsuko Hashimoto, and he recorded two albums with her.[5]


Hamilton was co-owner of Bosphorus Cymbals. He then started his own cymbal company, Crescent Cymbals, with Michael Vosbein, Bill Norman, and drummer Stanton Moore. Sabian bought out Crescent Cymbals and will be redistributing them through their "Hand-Hammered series." He also plays Mapex Black Panther drums and Remo drum heads (Fiberskyn 3 Diplomat) and his signature Regal Tip sticks and brushes.


As leader[edit]

  • Indiana (Concord Jazz, 1992)
  • It's Hamilton Time (Lake Street, 1994)
  • Live! (Mons, 1996)
  • Dynavibes (Mons, 1997)
  • Hamilton House: Live at Steamers (Mons, 2000)
  • Hands On (Mons, 2002)
  • The Best Things Happen (Azica, 2004)
  • From Studio 4, Cologne, Germany (Azica, 2006)
  • Symbiosis (Capri, 2009)
  • Red Sparkle (Capri, 2012)
  • Time Passes On (Jazzed Media, 2012)
  • The L.A. Session (In + Out, 2013)
  • Live From San Pedro (Capri, 2018)
  • Equal Time with Akiko Tsuruga, Graham Dechter (Capri, 2019)
  • Catch Me If You Can (Capri, 2020)
  • Merry & Bright (Capri, 2021)

With the L.A. 4

  • 1978 Just Friends
  • 1978 Watch What Happens
  • 1979 Live at Montreux
  • 1980 Zaca
  • 1981 Montage
  • 1982 Executive Suite

As sideman[edit]

With Monty Alexander

  • 1977 Live in Holland
  • 1979 Facets
  • 1983 Reunion in Europe
  • 1986 Li'l Darlin'

With Ernestine Anderson

  • 1979 Sunshine
  • 1983 Big City
  • 1989 Boogie Down

With Ray Brown

  • 1979 Live at the Concord Jazz Festival
  • 1988 Bam Bam Bam
  • 1988 Summer Wind: Live at the Loa
  • 1989 Black Orpheus
  • 1991 Georgia on My Mind
  • 1991 Three Dimensional
  • 1993 Bassface Live at Kuumbwa
  • 1994 Don't Get Sassy

With Michael Bublé

With Benny Carter

With Rosemary Clooney

With Natalie Cole

With Scott Hamilton

  • 1979 Tenorshoes
  • 1991 Race Point
  • 2015 Live in Bern

With Atsuko Hashimoto

  • 2008 Introducing Atsuko Hashimoto
  • 2011 Until the Sun Comes Up

With Gene Harris

  • 1988 Tribute to Count Basie
  • 1989 Listen Here!
  • 1989 Live at Town Hall, N.Y.C.

With Diana Krall

With Cory Weeds

  • 2015 This Happy Madness
  • 2017 Dreamsville

With others


  1. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 182. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ a b c "Jeff Hamilton, Drummer's Drummer".
  3. ^ "Jeff Hamilton, drums: MSUFCU Jazz Artist in Residence". Michigan State University. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  4. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Jeff Hamilton | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  5. ^ Eastwind Import. Full Organ Archived January 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Jeff Hamilton | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 January 2017.

External links[edit]