For more than 35 years, Dave Weckl has developed and maintained a reputation among fans, peers, and the international music community, as one of the great living drummers. His contributions to iconic music, music education, and the gear that drummers use, are many. Modern Drummer magazine has inducted Weckl into their Hall of Fame (2000) and named him "one of the 25 best drummers of all time."
These honors, in addition to many more bestowed by the music community, are the product of Weckl's commitment to excellence. His dynamic and diverse drumming, which has inspired musicians worldwide, is built on a foundation of knowledge and passion.
Weckl was born in St. Louis Missouri, January 8th, 1960. Though his parents were not professional musicians, his mother loved music and his father played the piano as a hobby. Weckl started drums at the age of 8, playing along to records in a spare room. He eventually moved his kit into the living room where he sometimes accompanied his father who played piano.
Early on, Weckl practiced to rock records by the Monkees, Credence Clearwater Revival, and more. Rock drumming came easily and his interest quickly turned to Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Philly Joe Jones, and Steve Gadd, to name a few. In his early teens, Weckl's passion for jazz and big band drumming reallly blossomed.
During his high school years, Weckl received many awards from the NAJE (National Association of Jazz Educators) for outstanding performances in his high school's competition-winning jazz band. He also became involved with numerous local groups starting at the age of 16 while studying with St. Louis-area teachers Bob Matheny and Joe Buerger.
1979 saw a move to the East coast and the University of Bridgeport. While playing the New York club scene with a band called Nite Sprite, Weckl started receiving accolades from established studio musicians such as Steve Kahn, Michael Brecker, and Peter Erskine. It was Erskine who recommended Weckl for his first 'big gig' with a group called French Toast, forerunner to the Michel Camilo band. That band featured iconic electric bass player Anthony Jackson.
From this group, Jackson recommended Weckl for the prestigious 1983 Simon and Garfunkel reunion tour. This got Weckl noticed by a much larger industry audience and lead to many session opportunities, including radio and TV jingles, sound track sessions, and top recording dates with George Benson, Peabo Bryson, Diana Ross, Robert Plant, and many more.
In 1985, Michael Brecker recommended Weckl to Chick Corea for his new Elektric Band. That was the beginning of a seven-year relationship with both the Elektric and Akoustic bands where nine recordings and three videos were produced. The Akoustic Band release earned Weckl a Grammy.