Buddy Rich

Bernard "Buddy" Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He is considered one of the most influential drummers of all time.

Rich was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He discovered his affinity for jazz music at a young age and began drumming at the age of 2. He began playing jazz in 1937, working with acts such as Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, and Harry James. From 1942 to 1944, Rich served in the U.S. Marines. In 1966, he recorded a big-band style arrangement of songs from West Side Story. He found lasting success in 1967 with the formation of the Buddy Rich Big Band.

Rich was known for his virtuoso technique, power, and speed. He was an advocate of the traditional grip, though he occasionally used match grip when playing the toms. Despite his commercial success and musical talent, Rich never learned how to read sheet music, preferring to listen to drum parts and play them from memory.

In 1987, Rich was admitted to the hospital after suffering a paralysis on his left side. Doctors later discovered and removed a malignant brain tumor. He died on April 2, 1987 at the age of 69, and was buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

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