Happy Birthday Jack DeJohnette

August 9, 1942

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Drummer and composer Jack DeJohnette was born on August 9, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois.

DeJohnette’s uncle, a Chicago DJ, first inspired him to take up music as a young child.

He began his career playing in the bands of Bill Evans, Jackie McLean, and various artists from the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.

He began his career playing R&B, hard bop, and avant-garde with his own groups in addition to those of Richard Abrams and Roscoe Mitchell.

After having moved to New York in 1966 DeJohnette became involved in jazz fusion as a member of the “Charles Lloyd Quartet” a group in which he would first encounter his long time collaborator Keith Jarrett.

In 1968 he joined Bill Evans’ Trio followed by a brief stay with Stan Getz leading up to his first recordings with Miles Davis, first appearing on the albums “Directions” and “Bitches Brew.”

Having released his first solo LP “The DeJohnette Complex” in 1968 Jack DeJohnette left the Davis’ group in 1971 to devote his full attention to leading his own band.

He has since led a succession of groups beginning in 1972 with the short lived experimental band “Compost” followed by the “Gateway Trio” (1975), “New Directions” (1978), and “Special Edition” (1979).

He would continue to perform with “Special Edition” well into the 1990s.

In 2012, Jack DeJohnette was awarded the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for his “significant lifetime contributions have helped to enrich jazz and further the growth of the art form.”

Jack DeJohnette is featured as a member of the “Charles Lloyd Quartet” performing in Europe circa 1966.


Charles Lloyd, tenor sax
Keith Jarrett, piano
Cecil McBee, string bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums 


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