Joe Porcaro

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Joe Porcaro
Born(1930-04-29)April 29, 1930
New Britain, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedJuly 6, 2020(2020-07-06) (aged 90)
Thousand Oaks, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, educator
  • Drums
  • percussion

Joseph Thomas Porcaro[1] (April 29, 1930 – July 6, 2020) was an American jazz drummer.


Personal life[edit]

The Porcaro family is, on the paternal side, originally from San Luca, an Aspromonte village in the province of Reggio Calabria. Joe Porcaro, a well-known jazz drummer and percussionist, born in Hartford, Connecticut to Mike, an Italian immigrant from San Luca, Calabria, and a mother from Caserta, Campania. The couple had moved to the US in the early twentieth century. Grandfather Mike was himself a percussionist who played with numerous Italian bands based in the U.S., and it is with him that the family musical tradition began, passed on to his son Joe and then to his three famous grandchildren. Joe's three sons were in the rock band Toto: drummer Jeff (1954–1992); bassist Mike (1955–2015); and keyboardist Steve (b. 1957), who still is a session musician and programmer. He also has a daughter, Joleen Porcaro Duddy (actress and designer), whose children, Chase and Paige Duddy, formed the electronic duo XYLO.


Porcaro recorded with Natalie Cole, Don Ellis, Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, Gladys Knight, Madonna, The Monkees, Gerry Mulligan, Pink Floyd, Howard Roberts, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, and Sarah Vaughan. He performed film scores with James Newton Howard, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Danny Elfman, John Frizzell and his son Steve Porcaro. With educator and drummer Ralph Humphrey, he was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Music Academy (LAMA) in Pasadena, California, which is now called the Los Angeles College of Music (LACM). Porcaro led a group with Emil Richards, a native of Hartford who played vibraphone and collected percussion instruments from around the world.[2]


Porcaro died at the age of 90 in Thousand Oaks, California on July 6, 2020.[3] His death was ruled to be of natural causes.


As leader[edit]

  • 2002 Better Off Back Then

As sideman[edit]

With Rosemary Clooney

With Lalo Schifrin

With others


  1. ^ "Joseph Porcaro Obituary (2020)". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Mattingly, Rich. "Emil Richards". Percussive Arts Society. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  3. ^ Joseph T. Porcaro - Obituary
  4. ^ "Joe Porcaro | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 October 2017.

External links[edit]