15 January 1909, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 16 October 1973, New York City, New York, USA. Krupa began playing drums as a child and after his mother failed to persuade him to become a priest, most of his large family actively encouraged his career in music. He studied formally, his most important teacher being Roy C. Knapp. However, growing up in Chicago in the 20s meant that he was inevitably drawn to jazz. He listened to relocated New Orleans masters such as Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton and Tubby Hall. In his teens he played in several local dance bands, among them those led by Al Gale, Joe Kayser, Thelma Terry and Mezz Mezzrow and the Benson Orchestra.
In 1927, Krupa made his first records in a band nominally fronted by visitor Red McKenzie but actually organized by Eddie Condon whose record debut this also was. This session is reputed to be the first on which a drummer used a bass drum and tom-toms (engineers feared the resonance would...
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