William (Will) Calhoun is born 22 July 1964. The widely acclaimed drummer from the Bronx, New York, graduated from the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he received a Bachelors degree in Music Production and engineering. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Buddy Rich Jazz Masters Award
for outstanding performance by a drummer.
Special Kudos for Will Calhoun's drumming virtuosity include:
- Best New Drummer of 1988 by Modern Drummer Magazine's Readers Poll
- Number One Progressive Drummer by Modern Drummer Magazine's Readers Poll three times (1989, 1991 & 1992)
- Best Drummer Of 1990 by Rolling Stone Magazine's Critics Poll
Will Calhoun's unique blend of improvisational and hard rock drumming can be found on each of Living Colour's four Epic releases: the ground breaking multi-platinum debut, Vivid, the critically acclaimed sophomore LP, Time's Up, the 1991 EP, Biscuits, and the latest, Stain. A prolific song writer, Will has co-written many Living Colour compositions and wrote the critically acclaimed song, Pride, on the Time's Up album and Nothingness on the Stain album. As a member of Living Colour, Will received a Grammy Award in 1989 for Best Hard Rock Performance by a group and another Grammy in 1990 for Best Hard Rock Performance. Living Colour also won an International Rock Award In 1991 for Best Rock Band.
In addition to his work with Living Colour, Will Calhoun has recorded and/or toured with artists such as BB King, Mick Jagger, Jaco Pastorious, Harry Belafonte, Pharoah Sanders, Jack Dejohnette, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, The Allman Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Marcus Miller, Dr. John, Carly Simon, Herb Alpert, Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood, and recorded with rappers Run-DMC and Public Enemy.
As a producer, player, and songwriter, Will has worked on Herb Alpert's Grammy-nominated CD, Colors.
During Will Calhoun's down time he has managed to record two solo projects "Housework" and "Drum Wave". These discs provide an alternate canvas for his acoustic drumset artistry as well as his push for electronic tonal expressions.
Will, Doug Wimbish, and Vinx joined forces in 1995-96 to form the groundbreaking Ambient World Music band Jungle Funk. Their live cd 'Jungle Funk' is available on Zebra Records in the United States. The group combines mastery of technology with musicianship. This rare and cutting edge disc was given the Album of the Year mention in Australia.
Recently Will Calhoun has released his first solo jazz CD as a leader: The Will Calhoun Quintet: Live at the Blue Note. The disc is an adventurous journey through Will's approach to acoustic Jazz, World and Ambient music. Will's song writing, arrangements and drumming on this CD are ground breaking. Although this is Will's first attempt at fronting a jazz group, Down Beat Magazine, Jazz Times, and BillBoard Magazine have given the CD top ratings. Drum Magazine's readers poll voted Will's CD 1st runner up for Drummer/Band leader.
Presently, Will Calhoun is working with rapper Mos Def, both as a producer and performer. Will has brought together an all-star lineup for this cd, featuring artists like: Bernie Worrell on keys, Doug Wimbish on bass, Dr. Know, the guitarist from Bad Brains, and other special guests. The Band is titled Black Jack Johnson. Keep your eyes and ears open for this CD. It will be in the usual cutting-edge Calhoun fashion.
Not many artists have the vision and artistic energy to be Grammy winners and contribute to so many genres: jazz, rock, hip-hop, ambient, et al, while concurrently producing, touring, creating new projects, working on films, and continually pushing the envelope. Will Calhoun has this creative vision, and he is doing an extraordinary job keeping music a spiritual and motivating force in his life.