Hall Of Fame with Clem Burke, Harvey Mason, Ian Paice, Marky Ramone and Danny Seraphine
Artist biography Gerald Cleaver
Born and raised in Detroit, Gerald Cleaver became deeply involved with the jazz scene there, working with respected area musicians including bassist Ali Muhammad Jackson, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, tenor saxophonist Donald Walden, bassist Rodney Whitaker (on Hidden Kingdoms), guitarist A. Spencer Barefield, reedsman Wendell Harrison, and many others.
Although Cleaver has been known in the Detroit area as a great musician and educator since the early nineties, he was not so well-known to listeners elsewhere until an explosion of recordings released starting in 1999 brought his powerful and tasteful drumming to the attention of jazz listeners all over the world.
An NEA fellowship allowed Cleaver to study with drummer Victor Lewis; Cleaver then earned a music degree from the University of Michigan. During his years as a student, he had a band with keyboardist Craig Taborn called the Tracey Science Quartet. Cleaver went on to become a jazz educator after graduating and began teaching in Detroit in the early '90s, later joined the jazz faculty at the University of Michigan.
Splitting time between Detroit and NYC, Cleaver has worked with a long list of great jazz leaders including Roscoe Mitchell (most recently on 1999's Nine to Get Ready), Henry Threadgill, Jacky Terrasson, Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Charles Gayle, Reggie Workman, and Eddie Harris, among others.
In 2000, Cleaver was heard in a number of groups, including the Joe Morris Quartet (with releases on Omnitone and Knitting Factory), the Matthew Shipp Quartet (Pastoral Composure), young bassist Chris Lightcap's debut as a leader, Lay-Up, and on vocalist René Marie's Maxjazz release. Cleaver has been active in a number of other groups including the Roscoe Mitchell Trio, Bishop/Cleaver/Flood (with unrecorded Ann Arbor-based musicians reedsman Andrew Bishop and bassist Tim Flood), and his own sextet, Gerald Cleaver's Veil of Names, which includes guitarist Ben Monder, violinist/violist Mat Maneri, bassist Reid Anderson, saxophonist Andrew Bishop, and former college collaborator, Craig Taborn.