Cecil Brooks III was born on August 16. 1959 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and started playing drums at age 5, studying with his father Cecil Brooks, Jr., a renowned jazz drummer. His father introduced him to Art Blakey, Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones and the jazz drumming tradition. He would go on professional performances with his father and by the age of 14 he was performing professional gigs on his own.
Awarded a full music scholarship at Mt. Aloysius College and Duquesne University and after receiving his degree, he played around the metropolitan city with visiting heavyweights. Cecil was virtually reviewed in every major music publication and newspaper as well as on Pittsburgh television and radio.
In 1984, Brooks moved to New York City where his first gigs were with Houston Person and Etta Jones. He toured and recorded with the duet for several years. During the same time he also performed with Oliver Lake, Mingus Dynasty/Big Band, Terence Blanchard, David Murray, Terumasa Hino, Greg Osby, Andrew Hill, Michelle Rosewoman, Nat Adderley and many others.
Brooks has released 9 CDs as a leader starting with The Collective to his latest Hot D.O.G. where he holds down with crisp and powerful drumming on the recording. He has performed and/or recorded with Jack McDuff, Andrew Hill, Hannibal Peterson, Groove Holmes, Don Braden, Jack Walrath and many more. He has produced John Hicks, Jimmy Ponder, Hannibal Peterson, Winard Harper, Darrell Grant, Bruce Williams, Radam Schwartz, Leon Lee Dorsey, Akua Dixon Turre, Russell Gunn Jr, Ron Jackson, Nat Simpkins, Eric Johnson, Roseanna Vitro, Arthur Blythe, Chris White, Don Braden, Talib Kibwe, and the list goes on.
For nine years beginning in 2003 he was the proprietor of Cecil’s Jazz Club in West Orange, New Jersey. IHe has had Cecil’s Monday Night Big Band featured ABC’s Nightline, has hosted visiting jazz greats and pros who live in the area. Home to bassist Christian McBride, pianist Geri Allen, saxophonist Don Braden, trombonist Steve Turre, and Herbie Hancock were all were regulars at the club and Bill Cosby launched the grand opening.
He has been the subject of many articles and reviews: Jazziz, DownBeat, Modern Drummer, JazzTimes, Hot House, The New York Times, BET Jazz Central, Time Warner Cable TV 90 minute documentary Cecil Brooks III The Third Generation, and many other major publications worldwide. He has toured throughout Europe, South America, Japan, the United States and Canada. Drummer, composer, arranger, producer and educator Cecil Brooks continues to swing as he performs, records and tours.
More Posts: drums