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united kingdom
Ian Palmer
Zildjian Artist | Ian Palmer lg
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: Independent / Session Artist
  • Country: United Kingdom

Ian’s career in drums has spanned over 30 years and his passion, his drive and his enjoyment of if his career expands year on year.

“Life is good” says Ian. “ We all have set backs, triumphs, success’s and failures, but viewed around a spiritual framework, I wouldn’t change a thing. I continually seek to learn and grow, I push myself, I challenge myself. I love communicating and really do love the people. The drumming community is so warm, it’s so open and I love this environment and the many, many beautiful, colourful and artistic human beings that share our passion”.

Ian’s career really has spawned a body of work that even the most battle-hardened veteran would be proud. His ‘own led’ contemporary jazz quintet in the early 90’s featured trumpeter Guy Barker, saxophonist Dave O’Higgins, pianist Dave Newton and bassist Alec Dankworth. They played in and around central London and recorded many times at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Europe’s most famous jazz club.

Ian had a great grounding in drumming and was a student of Joe Morello all those years ago on the East Coast of America. Joe was largely thought of as a technical virtuoso in the art of drumming. Ian relates his feelings on Joe, “Joe was like a Grandfather figure to me. He was so caring and nurtured me, counselled me and really helped get my playing ‘on track’ at that time. He did, I feel influence me as a human being too, by way of showing me the ‘correct’ way of going about things, not about business, but about life. I loved Joe, I have so much to be grateful for. I miss him”.

Back in the UK, Ian continued as a sideman in many groups and ensembles and had the opportunity to perform with many heroes around this time, including Michael Brecker, Martin Taylor, Nigel Kennedy and the esteemed British classical orchestra The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.

Ian has always had a wide taste in music and pushed many areas in his artistic pursuit. He was a founder member of chart-hit group The Ghosts along with his then musical partner Alex Starling (formerly of Ou est le Swimming Pool).

“I don’t really consider myself to be a total musician in the strictest sense if I am honest. I am more like the total, or über music fan” states Ian.

Ian has been furthering more angles of his musical growth recently. He founded the hugely successful, ‘The World’s Greatest Drummer Concert’ brand following the many social encounters at his regular (or infamous to his neighbours!) drummer/musician nights with all musician friends that used to hang out in and around Ian’s party scene at that time. This was where Ian and his life long friend, the late drummer Jon Brookes (The Charlatans) talked for hours until sunrise about the legends and of course the war stories. “The camaraderie was on another level and I’m not talking chemicals here, I’m talking a real connection, a real love of what we do”.

‘The World’s Greatest Drummer Concert’ is basically one fine big band jazz ensemble featuring the greatest session musicians the UK has to offer and a whole bunch of world respected, terrific drummers paying their own respects to the great forefathers of modern drumming. ‘The WGD Concert’ has been a real labour of love for Ian and after the five concerts; this is one show that is quickly becoming the hottest ticket on the drumming calendar. Previous shows have featured some of the greatest names drumming including Steve Smith, Gary Husband, Jeremy Stacey and Neal Wilkinson. The last concert on May 26th 2015 featured the most influential drummer alive today, Steve Gadd.

Autumn/Fall 2015 sees Ian very active again in the studio with new albums from LA based producer/conductor/arranger Richard Niles and a new project from London with guitarist Ray Russell and bassist Mo Foster.

You can catch Ian live this Autumn/Fall on Yamaha’s UK National Drum Clinic Tour throughout the UK along with Ray Russell and Mo Foster.

Ian continues to record his regular short films along with close drumming friends Steve White and Pete Cater, available on Ian’s YouTube Channel.

You can of course connect with Ian personally at the following social media outlets:
Official Facebook

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