Grammy award winning recording artist, John Riley, is enjoying a stellar career as a jazz drummer, including gigs and recordings with artists such as John Scofield, Mike Stern, Woody Herman, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz and Miles Davis. He currently performs regularly with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Bob Mintzer, Jon Faddis and Joe Lovano.
John Riley is on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music and SUNY-Purchase and has written three critically acclaimed books about jazz drumming: "The Art of Bop Drumming," "Beyond Bop Drumming" and "The Jazz Drummer's Workshop."
John Riley is also a winner of the 2004 and 2005 Modern Drummer Magazine Readers Poll.
John Riley is also the transcriber of 18 Warner Brothers books containing the contents of drum videos ranging from Billy Joel's drummer, Liberty DeVito, to Chick Corea's Dave Weckl, to Wynton Marsalis' Herlin Riley and "West African Rhythms for Drumset".
He is a regular contributor to "Modern Drummer" Magazine.
Biography from John's official web site: John Riley began playing drums at age eight, after receiving a snare drum as a gift. With the support, encouragement and patience of his parents, John and Mary Ann, he played in the school band and began drum lessons with a good local teacher, Tom Sicola. While under Tom's guidance, he gained control of the snare drum through work on the rudiments and reading. Eventually, he acquired a complete drumset and lessons expanded to include "beats of the day," coordination and reading studies for the drumset.
At age twelve, John Riley began playing in rock bands and heard his first jazz recordings, the soundtrack to The Gene Krupa Story and Max Roach's Conversation.
Two years later, John Riley played his first "professional" gig, which he obtained through an audition played over the telephone. John began studying with Joe Morello in 1971, after meeting him at a drum symposium. John went on to attend the University of North Texas, where he was introduced to a larger world of music and percussion.
While at UNT, John Riley played in, toured, and recorded with the famed One O'clock Lab Band. In 1976, he moved to New York City and was soon called to join the Woody Herman Band. Following that great experience, John returned to New York and began freelancing with a wide spectrum of world class musicians including Stan Getz, Milt Jackson, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Scofield, Bob Mintzer, Gary Peacock, Mike Stern, Joe Lovano, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, John Patitucci, Bob Berg, and many others.