Ernie Adams, drums

Teaching Associate





Having attended The University of North Texas on a music scholarship and finishing up his studies as a Jazz Major at The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Ernie Adams has over 38 years of experience as a professional drummer/percussionist. He is a highly sought after drummer who is known for his solid sense of time, strong groove, brilliant technique, great musical taste and a wonderful personality combined with an always professional attitude.

He has performed in 47 different countries with many of the world's greatest musicians in many different genres. In jazz, he has performed, toured and/or recorded with the likes of Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Stanley Turrentine (with a one night concert with special guest Dizzy Gillespie), James Moody, Pharaoh Sanders, Benny Golson, Clark Terry, Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker, Slide Hampton, Wycliff Gordon, Gary Bartz, Ramsey Lewis, Ahmad Jamal, among others.

In the "Latin" genres of Afro-Cuban and Brazilian Jazz, Ernie has performed and/or recorded with Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D'Rivera, Claudio Roditi, Poncho Sanchez, The Chicago Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, among others. Ernie has performed and/or recorded Jazz/Rock Fusion with Al DiMeola, Joe Zawinul, Larry Coryell, Anthony Jackson, Victor Wooten, among others.

Ernie continues his varied drumming by performing and/or recording Pop and Rock Music (Akalibrio, Al Jarreau and Ross Bon and The Mighty Blue Kings), Hip Hop (Furious Styles, House Music artists Ten City, recordings for Grammy winners, plus 30 nominations, engineer/producer James Auwarter of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna fame, among others), Third Stream (drummer with The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic), Free Jazz (AACM and Kahil El'Zabar) and his own eclectic musical projects.

Ernie Adams has also been a Ravinia Jazz Mentor since 1995, tutoring young drummers and percussionists and has given master classes and clinics worldwide. He truly believes in the importance of passing the gift of good music on to the next generation of artists.

He has performed, recorded, and toured with the likes of Ramsey Lewis, AI DiMiola, Joe Williams, Billy Dickens, Arturo Sandoval, Steve Cole, Dianne Reeves, Stanley Turrentine, Ahmad Jamal, Richie Cole, James Moody, Joe Zawinul, Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, Orbert Davis, the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and many others. Having graduated as a Jazz major from University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Mr. Adams has been a Ravinia Jazz Mentor since 1995, tutoring young drummers and percussionists.