Herlin Riley

Herlin Riley

My name is Herlin Riley. I was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. I've been a professional drummer for more than 45 years.

Although I'm mostly recognized as a Jazz drummer, the range of my musical experiences has been very broad. I have performed as a solo artist, in a duo, in trio configurations as well as with 100 pieces (consisting of a big band, a choir and a symphony orchestra). I've played in brass bands (2nd line bands) on the streets of New Orleans, and I was the drummer in a burlesque club. I played in a 1920's-style musical in London's Theatre district, I played and recorded reggae music with Monty Alexander, I played gris gris & funk music with Dr. John, and I played with Wynton Marsalis and The Lincoln Center Orchestra for 17 years. While playing with The LCJO we collaborated with symphony orchestras, African groups, Brazilian groups, Gipsy performers, blues and pop artists. I was the drummer in The LCJO when they were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for the recording "Blood On The Fields" (for which I composed my own drum parts).

I spent 10 years recording and playing with Ahmad Jamal, and I also recorded with: George Benson, Harry Connick Jr., Maria Mauldur, Yusef Lateef, Steve Torre, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ellis Marsalis, Rufus Reid, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Roberts and many more. I was an adjunct drum professor at The University of New Orleans, The Julliard School in NY and Northwestern University in Chicago. I have four recordings as a leader, "Watch What You're Doing", "Cream Of The Crescent", "New Direction" and "Perpetual Optimism". I have endorsed Zildjian Cymbals and Vic Firth Sticks for more than 25 years.

Herlin Riley'S SETUP:

1.14" HiHats - K Constantinople (top), K Custom Session (bottom) *
2.Stack - 9" FX Oriental Trash Splash (bottom), 6" Splash (top) *
3.19" K Dark Thin Crashes
4.22" K Custom High Definition Ride
5.10" FX China Trash

6.15" FX Azuka Latin Multi-Crash *
7.16" K Dark Thin Crashes

* May be prototype