Cyrille, Andrew (Charles)

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Cyrille, Andrew (Charles)

Cyrille, Andrew (Charles) , avant-garde jazz drummer, composer; b. Brooklyn, N.Y., Nov. 10, 1939. He was playing in a drum and bugle corps at St. Peter Claver Church, Brooklyn, at age 11; at 15, he was performing in a local trio with Eric Gale. He chose a career in music over chemistry and enrolled at Julliard (1960–64); around then, he worked with Freddie Hub-bard. Cyrille made his professional debut with Nellie Lutcher, then played with Mary Lou Williams. In 1964 he replaced Sonny Murray in Cecil Taylor’s ensemble. This association lasted until 1975, including a period as artist-in-residence at Antioch Coll. In the mid-1970s he performed Dialogue of the Drums, a series of all-percussion concerts with Milford Graves and Rashied Al; he also recorded with them, Taylor, and Marion Brown. He taught and led his own group, Maono (1975–80), which included David Ware, Sonny Smith, Ted Daniel, Lisle Atkinson, and Nick DiGeronimo. During the 1980s, Cyrille played with the Group (featuring Billy Bang, Fred Hopkins, Sirone, Ahmed Abdullah, and Marion Brown) and Pieces of Time (which included Don Moye, Kenny Clarke, and Milford Graves). He also did sessions with Muhal Richard Abrams and John Carter. He has worked with the Jazz Composers Orch. and with Jimmy Lyons. He has taught at the New School since 1986. He toured the U.K. (1990) with a trio that played a wide range of music. He is a brilliant avant-garde jazz percussionist and composer who incorporates his voice, as well as Eastern influences, into his soloing.


What About (1971); Dialogue of the Drums (1974); Metamusicians’ Stomp (1978); Loop (1978); Nuba (1979); Special People (1980); Junction (1980); Celebration (1980); Navigator (1982); Andrew Cyrille Meets Peter Brotzmann (1982); Galaxies (1990); My Friend Louis (1991); X Man (1993).

—Lewis Porter/Music Master Jazz and Blues Catalogue