Joey Baron – A Self-taught Drum Guru

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There are very few drummers who have learned the skills and become better at what they do by watching others – and Joey Baron is one of them. The drummer was born into a Jewish working-class family from Richmond, VA.  He learned to play drums by watching others perform and listening to any available materials he could find.  He was behind the running of the Ed Sullivan show guests, which was among his earliest influences. Furthermore, he went on to work with Art Blakey, Ray Charles, Booker T. & the MG’s, and James Brown, among others, on their records. The drummer is also known for his works in “The Wild Wild West ” TV show theme.

Baron was a member of the Bill Frisell band for a decade until 1995. At the same time, he was also performing and recording with a wide range of great musicians. The list of artists he has worked for is quite long. It included Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Benner, Hampton Hawes, Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Stan Getz, Big Joe Turner, Philip Glass, and Jim Hall.

joey baron
joey baron

Joe was a co-leader for A group called “Miniature,” where he worked with Tim Berne and Hank Roberts. Also, he was a member of Naked City Band with John Frisell, Fred Frith, and Wayne Horvitz. That is not all; Joe was at the same time working with Zorn’s band called Masada.

The band’s second album titled “We’ll Soon Find Out” was released during the summer of 2000 under Lee Townsend. The drummer got his first release on the Songline/Tone Field on Intuition in Down Home. Some of the biggest names in the arts industry are in the project, including songs from Baron’s southern RnB-oriented original pieces. The songs are played by the band of Ron Carter, Arthur Blythe, and Bill Frissell.

Baron has always been a drummer who understands the industry very well. It’s incredible how he focuses on discovering new and exciting ways to play his instruments.  His main performing band is “Killer Joey,” with Steve Cardenas and Brad Shepik on the guitars and bassist Tony Scherr. Barron has made a self-produced CD, “Killer Joey,” with Adam Levy (Shepik’s predecessor) with this team of great musicians.

Anyone who has listened to Baron plays drums agrees that he is one of the most talented drummers in the world. He has been playing the instruments for many years, growing his skills and experience with every given opportunity.

joey baron performing
joey baron performing

One thing that sets Baron apart from other drummers is his dedication to improving everything around him.  He is a performer who understands what to do when it comes to impressing his audience. He plays drums as if they can read his mind and will do as he commands.

He is not as active with many bands today as he was a few years ago. However, he still plays on occasion with The Town Home Band. In this case, he mostly worked on solo projects with Bill Frisell, Lee Konitz, Vinicius Cantuaria, and John Abercrombie. He also performs in a trio with John Taylor and Marc Johnson

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