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Rod Youngs in town to drum up a storm at Jazz Hastings

London-based American drummer Rod Youngs, who will be headlining at this month’s Jazz Hastings’ session on 12 February, has been described as one of the most expressive and adept musicians on the current jazz scene. Julian Norridge looks forward to his visit.

His approach to music is intuitive, emotional and all embracing, but soundly rooted in the jazz tradition. Whether playing mainstream jazz, world music or urban contemporary, he moves seamlessly from one genre to another, always preserving stylistic conventions whilst injecting creativity and individuality.

“Rod Youngs,” wrote one critic, “has a uniquely identifiable style: loose-limbed, ever so slightly behind the beat, giving everything a great sense of swing.”

Rod Youngs, centre, with Denys Baptiste and Larry Bartley.

Rod Youngs, centre, with Denys Baptiste and Larry Bartley.

His journey in music began in his youth and blossomed into a distinguished career that has spanned over two decades. A native of Washington DC, Rod developed an interest in music from his father, who managed some of DC’s foremost R&B bands. He developed a life-long obsession with drums and percussion.

This led to him enrolling in the DC Youth Orchestra Programme, where he studied orchestral percussion. At around the same time he acquired his first drum kit and began independently developing his jazz skills. He continued his studies at Howard University and then at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester N.Y., where he studied jazz performance.

Since those early years, Rod’s consummate musicianship has brought him a wide variety of work including concerts, numerous recordings and sessions for radio, TV and film. He has become the drummer of choice for a formidable array of artists including Gil Scott-Heron, Courtney Pine, Natalie Cole, Mica Paris, Abdullah Ibrahim and Julian Joseph, as he was for the late Hugh Masakela.

He will be joined for this performance by long-term collaborators Denys Baptiste on saxophone and Larry Bartley on bass.


Rod Youngs Trio Jazz Hastings, Tuesday 12 February, East Hastings Sea Angling Association (on the Stade behind the lifeboat station). Doors open 7.45pm for 8.30 start, tickets £10 on the door.


Posted 18:00 Wednesday, Feb 6, 2019 In: Music & Sound

Also in: Music & Sound

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