Jazz Icon Carl Allen joins Vater Percussion Jazz Icon Carl Allen joins Vater Percussion - picture from the North Sea Jazz Festival 2017 Just two weeks ago we watched Carl Allen perform at the North Sea Jazz Festival, with Vic Firth drumsticks. With proof of it in the pictures with this article. To his great pleasure, he has now joined the Vater family officially playing a prototype drumstick model and various Vater brushes, specialty sticks, mallets and keyboard mallets. With over 200 recordings to his credit, naming him a Jazz Icon is not too much said. He has played with Benny Carter, Freddie Hubbard, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Benny Golson, Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett and many others.

At North Sea Jazz he played with a group named 'Jazz The Story, 100 years of Jazz Recordings,' a 10-piece ensemble playing litterally the history of Jazz from 1917 past the blues, ragtime, swing, bebop, and cool right up to the jazz of today. This group also features major names like Jon Faddis, Jeremy Pelt and James Carter.
"I have spent a lot of time searching for what I feel like "home" for me in a stick and a stick company. I have found that. I am pleased to announce that I am now endorsing Vater drumsticks, brushes and mallets. I feel blessed and honored to join an esteemed roster of amazing drummers and percussionist and to be embraced to the family in a manner that makes me feel welcomed and appreciated."
- Carl Allen

Allen grew up on gospel, R&B, and funk, but later turned to jazz after hearing an LP by the legendary saxophonist Benny Carter. He studied with drum instructor Roy Sneider and band director Robert Siemele. Allen studied at The University of Wisconsin at Green, later transferring to William Patterson College in New Jersey, where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies and Performance.

Allen joined trumpeter Freddie Hubbard a year before his graduation, served as his Musical Director for eight years, and recorded several recordings with the trumpeter including Double Take and Life Flight. Allen also played with Jennifer Holliday, J.J. Johnson, Rickie Lee Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., Lena Horne, Ruth Brown, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Mike Stern, Nellie McKay, Terence Blanchard, Phil Woods, Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut, Joe Henderson, Billy Childs and many others. Allen's phenomenal sideman discography also includes Jackie McLean (Dynasty), Donald Harrison (Indian Blues, Noveau Swing), Donald Byrd (A City Called Heaven), and Art Farmer (The Company I Keep).

He has an honorary doctorate from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah in Humane Letters.

Allen maintains an exhaustive schedule of recording, touring and teaching. He remains active as a sideman with Christian McBride and Inside Straight, Benny Golson and others. As a leader most recently leading The Carl Allen Quartet as well as The Art of Elvin, a tribute band dedicated to his two drum influences, Art Blakey and Elvin Jones was started after the passing of Elvin Jones in 2004.

Other brands Carl Allen endorses
  • Apogee
  • DW (Drum Workshop)
  • Earthworks Audio
  • Gator Cases
  • LP (Latin Percussion)
  • Protechtor Cases
  • Remo drumheads
  • Roc-n-Soc
  • Ultrasone
  • Zildjian Cymbals
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