Gene Krupa (1909–1973)
The most visible of the 1930's drummers, Gene Krupa, had a major effect on his colleagues. The Krupa “look”, his ideas and techniques and showmanship, were dominant during that time. Krupa brought high-level discipline and energy and a whole array of new challenges to drumming. In the 1930s, while defining and formalizing a traditional swing vocabulary for drums, Krupa moved the drummer into the foreground. A technically advanced, exciting player, he had a lot to do with making the drum solo not only acceptable but musically and commercially viable. Drums consumed him; he often said that sticks were seldom out of his hands during waking hours when he first began to play, or later, when he studied with Sanford “Gus” Moeller. Krupa always made that extra effort to play better, more easily, and more creatively.
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