Dennis Chambers: Modern Drummer Hall of Fame Award Recipient

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The story of how I met Dennis Chambers started with a  music performance I will never forget. However, that’s not why I’m here. Today, we learn how Dennis Chambers became the legendary drummer he is today. From his earliest memories of copying records on a toy drum kit, to slinging tracks with the likes of John Scofield and Miles Davis, Dennis has a story to tell about everything. Like the music he plays, Dennis shares stories with a rhythm and flow that is music to my ears. You definitely do not want to miss out!

Though Dennis is a self-taught musician, he claims he learned from the best. He was so good, that his drumming appeared on a gospel record when he was just 7. At 13 or 14, James Brown was asking him to play in his band. The names just keep coming! Dennis has jammed with the likes of P Funk, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Stanley Clark, and Carlos Santana. Across the decades, across jazz, funk, soul, and rock and roll, Dennis has become a master chameleon of rhythm and style.

I had the opportunity to hear Dennis perform at Blues Alley with Mike Stern, Tom Kennedy, and Randy Brecker – and to watch him play is unbelievable While seeming completely calm and in control of his craft, Dennis can light up a stadium, like he did, beginning as a teenager, during his Parliament Funkadelic days.. When you get a guy like Dennis talking, expect your mind to melt a little bit. His experiences and memories could fill a book, but for now, we’ll settle with a podcast episode. Listen to hear all of these stories of music and soul unfold.

Episode Highlights:

  • Dennis shares how he remains so very calm in the middle of mind-bending performances.
  • With a Motown singer mom, music was in Dennis’ DNA.
  • Dennis first picked up a stick when he was 3 years old, and got his first drum kit when he was 4.
  • We discuss how Dennis got his professional start at a very young age.
  • Finding your sound is a constantly evolving process.
  • Dennis shares all of his early influences and inspirations.
  • Playing with P Funk gave him incredible exposure.
  • Hear some of Dennis’ favorite bass players to work with – he has worked with some of the greats!
  • What’s new on the horizon for Dennis.

Connect with Dennis

Dennis’ Website

Here are some of my favorite performances by Dennis:

Dennis plays on David Letterman:

Dennis gets FUNKY at Drum Camp:

With Mike Stern, Tom Kennedy, and Randy Brecker:
Dennis’ Drum Solo – This is AMAZING!:

Dennis is Sponsored by the following companies:

 Pearl     |   Zildjian    |    LP percussion    |   Ddrum electronics    |   Evans Drumheads 

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