Todd Strait - drums

Recently relocated to Portland, OR, Kansas City's Todd Strait is not only one of the most in-demand jazz drummers in the midwest, but in recent years he has emerged as a jazz musician of national and international stature. Raised in Topeka, KS, Todd gained the attention of drumming legend Louie Bellson while still in high school by placing in the finals of the "Louie Bellson/Slingerland National Drum Contest". Next would come a string of collaborations with some of the worlds finest talent. After moving to New York City in 1980, he joined pianist Marian McPartland's trio in 1982 until 1989, and from '85 to '86 he appeared with guitarist Tal Farlow. Also in '86, Todd was a member of Woody Herman's Thundering Herd, and soon thereafter began a career as a teacher, clinician, and soloist. Todd was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Missouri/Kansas City from 1989-2002.

Three of Todd's most significant Kansas City associations are with with singers Karrin Allyson and Kevin Mahogany, both notable jazz stars from the Kansas City music scene, and the young rising piano star, Eldar. Todd has been a regular member of Karrin Allyson's group since 1993, a regular member of Eldar's group since 1998, and Mahogany's from 1994-2001. He travels the US, Canada, Brazil, Europe and Asia with Karrin and has appeared on 8 of her 10 Concord Records releases, travels the US, Europe, and Japan with Eldar and performs on his 4 CDs (the latest two on the SONY Classical label), and has toured the US, Europe, Japan, the Canary Islands, and Brazil with Mahogany.

In addition, Todd has appeared and recorded with many other jazz notables including Claude "Fiddler" Williams, Jay McShann, Frank Mantooth, Kansas City's Paul Smith, trumpeter Mike Metheny, saxophinists Kim Park and Bill Caldwell, organist Everett DeVan, vocalists Marylin Maye, Lisa Henry, Angela Hagenbach, and on numerous other recordings.

Todd's role as an educator and clinician is very much rooted in the fact that he, too, has been a dedicated student. His teachers have included such respected drummers as Ed Soph, Gary Chester, Joe Morello, John Riley. Over the years Todd has been a featured clinician at the Missouri Music Educators Association's annual convention, the University of Kansas Summer Jazz Camp, Great Plains Jazz Camp in Emporia, KS, the UMKC Jazz Camp, the Stamford (CT) Young Artists Jazz Camp, Iowa State University and many other high schools and colleges throughout the midwest and Hawaii. He currently holds an adjunct position at Mount Hood Community College in Portland, OR.

For more information on Todd Strait, visit, ,, or . Todd Strait endorses Bosphorus Cymbals and Yamaha Drums.