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Steve Houghton
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: World renowned jazz drummer, author, educator, clinician
  • School / Univ. / Institution: University of Indiana Jacob School of Music
  • Country: United States

“I can't imagine being without my Zildjian cymbals whenever I'm performing or teaching. They are part of me."

Internationally renowned jazz drummer, percussionist, clinician, author, and educator, Steve Houghton initially received acclaim at age twenty as the drummer with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd. Since then he has shared stage and studio with luminaries Gary Burton, Clay Jenkins, Shelly Berg, Toots Thielemans, Christian McBride, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Freddie Hubbard, Lyle Mays, Billy Childs, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Pat LaBarbara, Arturo Sandoval, Joe Henderson, Karrin Allyson and Maureen McGovern.

As band leader Houghton’s discography includes: The Manne We Love: Gershwin Revisited (TNC), a recent release of John Williams’ charts for big band and quintet, initially recorded by Shelly Manne on Capitol in 1965, the Steve Houghton Quintet Live @ the Senator (JazzCompass), Windsong (SHPERC Records), Remembrances (Warner Bros.), andSteve Houghton Signature (Mesa-Bluemoon). In total Houghton attributes more than one hundred recordings to his credit as a participating artist. As a classical percussionist, Houghton has performed with the Boston, and Philadelphia Pops orchestras, as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He frequently appears as a soloist with numerous orchestras and wind ensembles throughout the world.

As an author, Houghton’s publications boast more than thirty educational books, videos and DVDs including Kid's Drumset Course, Essential Styles- books 1 & 2 (Alfred), The Ultimate Drumset Chart Reading Anthology, Play and Teach Percussion (GIA), and The Drumset Soloist, and his latest project, Rhythm Section Workshop for Jazz Directors is a DVD-book series that addresses the entire rhythm section.

Houghton is Professor of Percussion and Jazz at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Along with his professorship, he also serves as Chair of the Department of Percussion. In addition to his academic duties, he presents yearly clinics and master classes to students around the world. Houghton is President-elect of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) and endorses Pearl Drums, Adams percussion, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, and Remo World Percussion products and drumheads.


Recording Artist

Teaching Faculty / The Mancini Institute; Los Angeles, CA

Part time faculty at UNLV- jazz department

Whirlybirds with Gary Chaffee

Maureen McGovern

 Major Influences: Ed Soph, Elvin Jones, Bobby Christian, Tony Williams, Mel Lewis, Emil Richards, Gary Burton, JC Combs


Published Works:

Rhythm Section Workshop
Play and Teach Percussion
Essential Styles books 1&2
The Ultimate Drumset Chart Reading Anthology
Mastertracks Improvisation Series
The Drumset Soloist
The Contemporary Rhythm Section Series
The Chart Reading Drummer - video
Studio and Big Band Drumming
Do It! Beginning Percussion Method

Clinic Titles Used:
Drumset 101 Essential Styles and Drumset Performer
The Chart Reading Drummer / Chart Reading Anthology
Studio & Big Band, and video Drumset For Dummies, handouts, printed in yellow of course!
The Beginning Percussion Section; Crash, Burn, or Sizzle! Do It!

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