Drummer John Hadfield
John's dedication to music has taken him from his native Missouri to concert halls and clubs across the world, while releasing two records of his own compositions, The Eye of Gordon (2008) and Displaced (2010). At home in New York, Time Out New York has noted: “John Hadfield’s percussion is so impeccable.” John Hadfield currently serves on the Jazz faculty of New York University, where he teaches drum set and the World Percussion Ensemble.
Bringing together distinct domains of expertise and traditions—including, but not limited to jazz, classical western music, Carnatic music, and electronic music, John Hadfield has developed unique ways of composing that integrate improvisation and structure. He has also been exploring the sonic and kinetic possibilities resulting from the combination of multiple instruments and electronics, such as the software Ableton Live. His compositions typically involve a wide range of sounds and textures, from the most traditional such as saxophone, guitar, bass, and drum set to the classical Indian kanjira, the African kalimba, and random objects such as bicycle wheels, pieces of metal, or ventilation tubes. John Hadfield’s varied expertise as a percussionist and drummer has allowed him to perform with a broad range of ensembles and artists, including: Yo-Yo Ma, The Silk Road Ensemble,
The Saturday Night Live Band on NBC, Kinan Azmeh’s City Band and Combo Nuvo. While performing and recording with jazz groups, John Hadfield has played alongside many inspiring and creative musicians including Lenny Pickett, Kenny Werner, George Garzone, Billy Drewes, Greg Osby, Gil Goldstein, Bobby Watson, James Genus, Gilad Hekselman, Jean-Michel Pilc, Petros Klampanis, Satoshi Takeshi, Brad Shepik, Benjamin Koppel, Mark Helias, Uri Caine, Chris Jennings, François Rabbath, Paquito D’Rivera, and Erik Friedlander. John Hadfield has also collaborated on more than 80 recordings as a guest artist, including the GRAMMY award winner Yo-Yo Ma and Friends, Songs of Joy and Peace (SONY BMG 2008). As Downtown Music Gallery founder Bruce Lee Gallanter has summed up in his review of John’s record Displaced, “[w]hat makes this special is that Mr. Hadfield knows how to use percussion in a more organic way that rarely deals with any sort of (logical or overused) beats, yet the music remains consistently fascinating throughout.