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Kenny Clarke

Kenny Clarke (Drums)

Born: 9th January 1914, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Died: 26th January 1985, Montreuil, France

Nationality: American

Kenneth Clarke Spearman nicknamed Klook, was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. A major innovator of the bebop style of drumming, he pioneered the use of the ride cymbal to keep time rather than the hi-hat, along with the use of the bass drum for irregular accents ("dropping bombs").

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was orphaned at the age of about five and began playing the drums when he was eight or nine on the urging of a teacher at his orphanage. Turning professional in 1931 at the age of seventeen, he moved to New York City in 1935 when he began to establish his drumming style and reputation. As the house drummer at Minton's Playhouse in the early 1940s, he participated in the after-hours jams that led to the birth of bebop.

All Genres: Kenny Clarke

Bebop

Big Band & Swing

Cool & West Coast

Hard Bop

Vocal Jazz

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