5 Drummerszone artists - Vinnie Colaiuta

Vinnie Colaiuta
* February 05, 1956
United States
Vinnie Colaiuta is regarded as one of the most influential drummers of all time; in fact, Modern Drummer has been quoted as saying that he is "the greatest drummer of our time."

The Brownsville, Pennsylvania native was a late bloomer all of 14 when he got his first real drum set and started taking lessons, but he quickly absorbed his early influences (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Dave Clarke Five) along with rock and jazz virtuosos (John Bonham, Buddy Rich, and Tony Williams).

Vinnie Colaiuta emerged in the late 1970's, and took the world by storm. He spent his formative years backing up some of the most demanding bandleaders, Frank Zappa, and Gino Vannelli.

Vinnie Colaiuta had a knack for difficult time signatures, and rhythmic invention, making him a perfect match for such groups. His unique polyrhythmic style was garnished while attending Berklee and studying under Gary Chaffee. He played his first "name" gig with the legendary Al Kooper In 1978, but he is best known as the sideman for Frank Zappa, whom he began playing for soon after Vinnie relocated to Los Angeles.

Being a preferred session player had its perks as well, earning him respect from such diverse artists as Sting, Barbra Streisand, Joni Mitchell, Al Kooper, Don Henley, and a plethora of others. During the 80's Vinnie was one of the most sought after session players, recording literally hundreds of albums with the likes of B.B. King, Ray Charles and Billy Joel to name a few.

In 1990, Vinnie Colaiuta was invited to audition for Sting, to be in his new touring quartet in support of the album, Soul Cages. Upon their first time playing together, they created a firm musical bond, which is evident to this day. This opportunity allowed him to play for stadium-sized crowds the world over, as well as record future albums with Sting.

In 1994, Vinnie Colaiuta released his self-titled first solo album, with an unbelievable list of guest stars on the Stretch Records label. He was also instrumental in Zildjian's designing the A Custom line. Vinnie continues to be very busy between his many gigs as a session player, performer, producer, and teacher of clinics.