William Hooker was born on June 18, 1946 in New Britain, Connecticut. He began his music education singing in the church choir before receiving private drum lessons from the age of 10. He training continued as he played in the Nathan Hale Junior High, New Britain High School and Central Connecticut State College bands.
Starting off playing in rock and roll bands it wasn’t until he was sixteen that he got into jazz, learning standards from an older musician who taught him the essentials of leading a band. During his college years he listened to as many records and live performances as he could, gaining a wealth of knowledge. He also was a member of an organ trio as he matriculated through college and has since performed as a leader of many ensembles in San Francisco, California and New York City, leaning towards avant-garde, improvised and new music.
He has performed or recorded with Billy Bang, Thurston Moore, David Murray, David S. Ware, William Parker, Melvin Gibbs, Donald Miller, DJ Olive, Elliott Sharp, Malachi Thompson, Zeena Parkins, Lee Ranaldo, DJ Spooky, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell, Mark Hennen, Steven Bernstein, Roy Nathanson, Jason Hwang, Dave Soldier, Sabir Mateen, Glenn Spearman, Joseph Celli, Ellen Christi, Liudas Mockūnas, among many others.
Lauded by Downbeat, The Wire and the San Francisco Chronicle as an inspired and fluent drummer who gives long performances of consistent energy and is a kingpin of the free jazz world, drummer and composer William Hooker continues to perform, compose and record.
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