Thurman Barker

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Thuman Barker in 1984 Thurman Barker.jpg
Thuman Barker in 1984

Thurman Barker (born January 8, 1948, Chicago, Illinois, United States) [1] is an American jazz drummer.


Barker's first professional experience was at age sixteen with Mighty Joe Young. [2] Barker took his bachelor's at Empire State College, [3] then studied at the American Conservatory of Music under Harold Jones [4] and at Roosevelt University. [5] He next served as an accompanist for Billy Eckstine, Bette Midler, and Marvin Gaye. [2] He was house percussionist at the Shubert Theater in Chicago for ten years. [2] In 1968, he joined Joseph Jarman's first ensemble, and soon after became a member of the AACM in its early days. [1] Aside from Jarman, he played in the late 1960s and 1970s with Muhal Richard Abrams, Pheeroan akLaff, Anthony Braxton, Billy Bang, Henry Threadgill, and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. [1] He recorded and toured again with Braxton in 1978-80 and with Sam Rivers in 1979–80. [5] In 1985 he played in a trio with Jarman and Rivers, and in 1987 he played marimba with Cecil Taylor. [5]

In the 1990s, Barker concentrated more on composition. His 1994 work Dialogue was premiered at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, [2] and he composed Expansions (1999) for the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. [2] Since 1993 he has taught at Bard College, where he is currently Professor of Music. [3] In 1999, he was guest lecturer at Smolny University in St. Petersburg, Russia. [6]


As leader

As sideman

With Muhal Richard Abrams

With Billy Bang

With Anthony Braxton

With Joseph Jarman

With Sam Rivers

With Cecil Taylor

other appearances :

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  1. 1 2 3 Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 175. ISBN   0-85112-939-0.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Thurman Barker: Biography". All About Jazz. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  3. 1 2 "Thurman Barker: Professor of Music". Bard College. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  4. Sager, Jeanne (July 18, 2006). "Thurman Barker Is Ready to Play". Sullivan County Democrat. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  5. 1 2 3 Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (1999). "Barker, Thurman". The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 38.
  6. "About Thurman Barker". Bard College. Retrieved February 28, 2022.