The Grandfather Of Modern Drumming, Papa Jo Jones

Papa Jo Jones was one of the originators of modern drumming.

As I look into many of the great early drummers, there seems to be a common thread as to who was the originator of popular drumming. Well now I’ve heard the same thing said by drummers like Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Louie Bellson… “Listen to Papa Jo Jones.” Jones was the regular drummer for the Count Basie Orchestra, but also played with many of the top names in jazz and swing music. Jones is as entertaining to watch as he is a phenomenal drummer, so I collected a few videos featuring his performances and even some interviews with the man. I sure hope you enjoy learning more about this iconic drummer since I had a good time putting it all together for you.

I wanted to start off with some footage from a film called “L’aventure du jazz” from director Louis PanassiĆ©. Check it out at

Jones also played with the Duke Ellington Orchestra for a time as well. Enjoy this performance and solo at

Lastly, I came across some interview footage with Papa Jo Jones and Gene Krupa. There’s a lot of great insight in this video so enjoy it at

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about Papa Jo Jones. He was one of the originators of modern drumming; helping to bring drummers into the spotlight on the band stand. There’s more coming your way at Play Drums By Ear so stay tuned.



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