Dennis Milton Chambers (born May 9, 1959) is an American jazz fusion and funk drummer. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2001.[1]

Dennis Chambers
Background information
Birth nameDennis Milton Chambers
Born (1959-05-09) May 9, 1959 (age 65)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, funk
Years active1978–present
LabelsSugar Hill

Early life


Chambers was born on May 9, 1959,[2] in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. He began drumming at the age of four years, and was gigging in Baltimore-area nightclubs by the age of six. He was recruited in 1981 by the Sugar Hill Label to be their "house drummer." Chambers played on many Sugar Hill releases.[citation needed] Contrary to popular belief, he did not play on "Rapper's Delight" which was revealed in an interview with Drumeo on August 16, 2017.[3]

In an interview by Bonedo in 2011, Chambers was asked who some of his influences and favorite drummers were and he mentioned Clyde Stubblefield, Al Jackson Jr., Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Husband, Jack Dejohnette, Billy Cobham, Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, and Tony Williams.



In 1978 (at 18 years old) he joined Parliament/Funkadelic, and stayed with them until 1985.[4] In 1986 he joined the John Scofield band. Since then he has played with most of the major figures in jazz fusion music.[5]

He has recorded and performed with Tom Coster, John Scofield, George Duke, Victor Wooten, Brecker Brothers, Santana, Steely Dan, Jeff Berlin, Parliament/Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, Niacin, Mike Stern, CAB, Greg Howe, and many others.[6]

He has toured extensively with Carlos Santana and makes appearances with his band Niacin.

In December 2004, Chambers was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music during the inauguration of former president Roger H. Brown.[7] In 2013 Chambers recorded the album Groove and More, produced by Lino Nicolosi and Pino Nicolosi, for the Italian company Nicolosi Productions, published by Soul Trade.



He plays and endorses Pearl drums, pedals, hardware & racks, Zildjian cymbals, drumsticks & general accessories, LP percussion, Ddrum electronics and Evans Drumheads.[8][9][10]


Year Personnel Title Label
1982 Don Blackman Don Blackman Arista Records
1983 P-Funk All Stars Live at the Beverly Theater in Hollywood Westbound
1986 John Scofield Blue Matter Gramavision
1987 John Scofield Loud Jazz Gramavision
1987 John Scofield Pick Hits Live Gramavision
1989 Gary Thomas By Any Means Necessary JMT
1990 Bill Evans Group (Bill Evans, Chuck Loeb, Jim Beard, Darryl Jones, Dennis Chambers) Let the Juice Loose (Live at the Blue Note, Tokyo) Bellaphon
1990 Gary Thomas While the Gate Is Open JMT
1991 Dennis Chambers Big City Glass House
1991 Gary Thomas The Kold Kage JMT
1992 Carl Filipiak Group (Carl Filipiak, Dennis Chambers, Paul Soroka, Jim Charlsen, Victor Williams, George Gray, Dave Fairall, Rod Daniels) Right on Time Geometric
1992 Petite Blonde (Bill Evans, Chuck Loeb, Mitchel Forman, Victor Bailey, Dennis Chambers) Petite Blonde Lipstick
1992 Brecker Brothers Return of the Brecker Brothers GRP
1992 Barbara Dennerlein That's Me Enja Records
1992 Dennis Chambers Getting Even Glass House
1993 Tom Coster Let's Set The Record Straight JVC Records
1993 Graffiti (Dennis Chambers, Haakon Graf, Gary Grainger, Ulf Wakenius) Good Groove ESC
1993 Charles Blenzig, Mike Stern, Will Lee, Alex Foster, Dennis Chambers, Manolo Badrena, Michael Brecker) Say What You Mean Big World
1994 Tom Coster Forbidden Zone JVC Records
1994 John McLaughlin & the Free Spirits Tokyo Live Japan Import
1995 Tom Coster From The Street JVC Records
1995 Steely Dan Alive in America Giant
1995 Barbara Dennerlein Take Off Verve Records
1996 Niacin (band) Niacin Stretch Records
1996 Mike Stern Between The Lines Atlantic Jazz
1997 John McLaughlin, Gary Thomas The Heart of Things Verve/Universum
1997 Niacin (band) Live Stretch Records
1997 Barbara Dennerlein Junkanoo Verve Records
1998 Niacin (band) High Bias Stretch Records
1999 Victor Bailey Low Blow ESC
2000 Niacin (band) Live! Blood, Sweat & Beers Magna Carta
2000 John McLaughlin The Heart of Things: Live in Paris Polygram
2000 CAB CAB Tone Center
2001 CAB CAB 2 Tone Center
2001 Brett Garsed, T. J. Helmerich, Gary Willis, Scott Kinsey Uncle Moe's Space Ranch Tone Center
2003 CAB CAB 4 Tone Center
2002 Dennis Chambers Outbreak Esc
2003 Greg Howe, Victor Wooten, Dennis Chambers Extraction Tone Center
2003 Biréli Lagrène, Dominique Di Piazza, Dennis Chambers Front Page Sunnyside
2004 Nick Smith (Guest Artists: Dennis Chambers, Stanley Clarke, David Sanchez) It's Like That Independent release
2005 Dennis Chambers Planet Earth BHM
2006 Dennis Chambers, Jeff Berlin, David Fiuczynski, T Lavitz Boston T Party Tone Center
2006 True Spirit John Grant, Victor Williams, Dennis Chambers, Najee True Spirit Independent release
2007 Carl Filipiak Group I Got Your Mantra Art of Life
2007 Maceo Parker WDR Big Band Cologne, Michael Abene conductor, Rodney "Skeet" Curtis (bass) Roots and Grooves Heads Up
2007 Brett Garsed, T. J. Helmerich, Gary Willis, Scott Kinsey Moe's Town (Uncle Moe's Space Ranch) Tone Center
2008 Paul Hanson Frolic in the Land of Plenty Abstract Logix
2009 Dean Brown DBIII: Live at the Cotton Club Tokyo BHM
2009 Tony Bunn Small World ATP
2010 Greg Howe, Tetsuo Sakurai, Dennis Chambers Vital World Abstract Logix
2014 Dennis Chambers Groove and More Nicolosi Productions
2017 Victor Wooten Trypnotyx Vix Records


  1. ^ "Modern Drummer's Readers Poll Archive, 1979–2014". Modern Drummer. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  2. ^ "The Trap Set". The Trap Set with Joe Wong. Retrieved 2016-05-13.
  3. ^ "Dennis Chambers: Legendary Tips For Modern Drummers". 16 August 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  4. ^ "Dennis Chambers: Biography". All About Jazz. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  5. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Dennis Chambers: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  6. ^ "BILL EVANS BAND 25th Anniversary Tour of Petite Blonde II feat. DENNIS CHAMBERS". Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Berklee College of Music Inaugurates Its Third President, Roger H. Brown". Archived from the original on 2017-04-21.
  8. ^ "Dennis Chambers". Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  9. ^ "Dennis Chambers". Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  10. ^ "Artists - Zildjian". Retrieved 13 May 2023.