Carl Hemmingsley (Drums)


Carl HemmingsleyCarl is an immensely talented drummer who combines rhythmic drive with great musical subtlety. Being something of a prodigy, he first experimented with rhythm using grouting tubs and a potty at the age of three, improvising his first crash cymbal rather ingeniously from a 1978 edition Sooty album. His parents were soon persuaded to invest in the real thing! In 1994, as part of the Walsall Jazz Orchestra, Carl was awarded the Kenny Clare Drum Award as the “most exciting drummer on show”in the BBC Big Band competition. Still at the age of 18 he was featured on a special programme on BBC Radio 2 as one of the major award winners.

A long list of key influences on Carl’s drumming style includes Peter Erskine, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Steve Gadd, Jack de Jeanette and Bill Stewart. More direct influences stem from personal tuition received from top British jazz drummers Tony Levin and Mark Fletcher.

A crucial member of both the Tim Amann Xtet since 1996 and the Walsall Jazz Orchestra from 1989, Carl is a professional musician. He is familiar with a variety of musical styles and regularly plays in soul and rock bands as well as jazz. He currently also plays with Ruby Turner, Steve Tromans (modern jazz) and with the Solid Soul Collective (soul-funk). Carl has performed with John Dankworth, Julian Arguelles, Guy Barker and, in his most recent visit to Birmingham, with Wynton Marsalis.