Milford Graves

Genres: Jazz
Decades: 1990s 2000s


20 August 1941, New York City, New York, USA. Born into a musical environment (his uncle and grandfather encouraged and coached his interest in music) Graves was playing drums at the age of three, though he had no formal teaching until he was 17. He took up congas when he was eight years old and led his own percussion ensemble and, later, workshops, while at school. He subsequently studied with George Stone in Boston and learned tabla techniques from Washantha Singh. Between 1959 and 1962 he played with dance and Latin bands around New York. He heard and was impressed by Elvin Jones with John Coltrane’s group in 1961 and in 1963 decided to concentrate on his own ideas rather than stay with commercial gigs. His first recordings were all on the ESP label and included appearances with the New York Art Quartet (with John Tchicai, Archie Shepp and Lewis Warrell), pianists Lowell Davidson and Paul Bley (Barrage), saxophonist Giuseppi Logan and his own Percussion...

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