Abe Laboriel Jr.
Abraham "Abe" Laboriel Jr. (born March 23, 1971) is an American session drummer. He is the son of Mexican bass guitarist Abraham Laboriel, nephew of Mexican rocker Johnny Laboriel, and brother of record producer, songwriter, and film composer Mateo Laboriel. He has been the drummer for Paul McCartney as well as for the French singer Mylène Farmer, among others.
Abe Laboriel Jr.
Playing as sideman with Paul McCartney, 2019
|Birth name||Abraham Laboriel Jr.|
|Born||March 23, 1971 (age 48)|
Los Angeles, California, United States
Laboriel was mentored by well-known percussionists and drummers, including Jeff Porcaro, Chester Thompson, along with Bill Maxwell and Alex Acuña, who had formed the band Koinonia with his father in the 1980s.
He attended the Dick Grove School of Music, studying with Peter Donald, during his junior year in high school. He also attended the Hamilton High School Academy of Music in Los Angeles in his senior year. Here he first experienced the use of programming and became a member of a marching band. He formed a jazz trio with Vernell Brown and Mike Elizondo. In 1989, he was honored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and Down Beat magazine. He then enrolled at the Berklee College of Music, where he graduated in 1993.
Laboriel's first break as a drummer was a tour with guitarist Steve Vai. He then toured with Seal, where he was seen by record producers around Los Angeles, California which led to session work. Laboriel next toured with k.d. lang where Sting saw him and invited Laboriel to join Sting's touring band. The k.d. lang connection also led Laboriel to working with Paul McCartney, including McCartney's appearance during the halftime of Super Bowl XXXIX. He also toured and recorded in studio with former Menudo member Robi Draco Rosa on his album Vagabundo.
Laboriel has also recorded and performed with Jonatha Brooke, Crystal Lewis, Shakira, B.B. King, Steven Curtis Chapman, Eric Clapton, Johnny Hallyday, Jenifer, Steve Winwood, Les Paul, Ashlee Simpson, LeAnn Rimes, Mylène Farmer, Letters to Cleo, Vanessa Carlton, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Tyler Bryant, Steve Lukather, Michael Landau and others. Lewis and Laboriel were also both a part of the Nickelodeon television series, Roundhouse in the 1990s.
In 2006 during the show "Avant que l'ombre... à Bercy" ("Before the shadow... at Bercy"), Laboriel sang a duet "Les Mots" ("The words") with Mylène Farmer. He also played with Sting at the Montreux Jazz Festival that year. Laboriel toured with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood on their 14-date American Tour in 2009 following their Japanese tour the year before. He made his live debut with Paul McCartney at The Concert for New York City in 2001, and has played on every McCartney tour since then.
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DW Collector's series drums:
- 26x14" or 28x20" kick drum
- 14x10" or 15x12" rack tom
- 16x14" or 18x16" floor tom
- 18x16" or 20x16" floor tom
- 14x7" or 14x8" snare drum
- 15" 2002 Sound Edge Hi Hats
- 20" 2002 Crash
- 22" 2002 Crash
- 24" 2002 Ride
- 24" Giant Beat Crash
- 24" 2002 Crash
Abe has his own signature Vic Firth drumstick which is similar to a regular 2B wood tip drumstick but in 17" length.
About his playing he noted: "As much as I would love to say I have an original sound, I think the truth is I have an original filter. I’d listen so much and so hard to so many different people that what’s original about me is not necessarily what I play but how I play it, how I interpret it hasn’t already been done. It’s more about the energy and the intensity, it’s not about the specific fills, it's more about the intention."
- "Abe Laboriel, Jr.: Riding A Wave Of Success". Modern Drummer. December 1, 2002.
- Dolbear, Mike. "Interview With Abe Laboriel Jnr 2007". mikedolbear.com. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- Farinella, David J. (August 1, 2009). "Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Tour Profile". mixonline.com.
- Sullivan, James (July 4, 2013). "Keeping The Beat for Sir Paul". Boston Globe.