Steve Gadd

This time on the Chiaroscuro podcast, we speak with one of the most sought-after studio musicians of the last 50 years, drummer Steve Gadd.

About Steve Gadd

We are honored to have drummer Steve Gadd on our Chiaroscuro Podcast. Dr. Steve Gadd is arguably one of the top living legends of drumming greatly influencing Jazz, rock, fusion and pop music. 

Born and raised in Rochester, NY, he began formal training at seven and sat in with Dizzy Gilispie at eleven. Perhaps best known for his drum solos on Steely Dan’s Aja’ and Paul Simon’s “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover,” Gadd is considered the drummers-drummer and his legacy of work in unparalleled. He studied at Eastman College along with childhood friend and legendary bassist Tony Levin, also a Podcast guest, and they continue to work together today on various projects. He was drafted into the Army and played in the Army band before moving to NYC after the Army where he immediately began studio work in earnest. Gadd joined Chick Corea’s first Return to Forever band and Corea later stated, “every drummer wants to play like Gadd because he plays perfect…he has brought orchestral and compositional thinking to the drum kit while, at the same time, having great imagination and ability to swing.”

As one of the most sought-after studio musicians of the last 50 years, Gadd has performed with a veritable cross-section of the most important pop artists of our time: STEELY DAN, PAUL MCCARTNEY, ERIC CLAPTON, JAMES TAYLOR, FRANK SINATRA, PAUL SIMON,AL JARREAU, STANLEY CLARKE, RICKIE LEE JONES, GEORGE BENSON, CARLY SIMON MICHAEL MCDONALD, CHICK COREA, DAVID SANBORN, QUINCY JONES, PETER GABRIEL, GENESIS, BILL WITHERS, MARYNARD FERGUSON, TOM SCOTT and BOB JAMES. He formed the band STUFF in 1976 with Eric Gale, Chris Parker, Cornell Dupree, Richard Tee, Gordon Edwards and launched solo projects: Steve Gadd and Friends with the late Joey DeFrancesco, Ronnie Cuber and Paul Bollenback and The Gadd Abouts. His new book Gadd A Life in Time is in bookstores now.

About The Chiaroscuro Podcast

Chiaroscuro Director of Artistry & Repertoire George Graham produces and hosts The Chiaroscuro Podcast. Explore the works of other Chiaroscuro performers in our Artists Section. Check out other episodes of the Chiaroscuro Podcast here