Keith Copeland

Keith Copeland (born in New York City on April 18, 1946, died in Germany on February 14, 2015)[1] was a jazz drummer and music educator.


His father, Ray Copeland, was a jazz trumpeter, and he learned by watching him, but he decided to play drums after studying Art Blakey's records with The Jazz Messengers.

In his teens played with Barry Harris.[2] He later worked with the Heath Brothers, but Percy Heath disliked his style, leading to arguments and to Copeland quitting.[3]

During his musical career, Copeland played with Sam Jones, Billy Taylor, Johnny Griffin, Stevie Wonder, Rory Stuart, George Russell, and Hank Jones.[4] He also led his own European-based groups, including one with Irish bassist Ronan Guilfoyle.

Copeland taught at The New School University in New York City, Rutgers, and Berklee College of Music before moving to Germany in 1992 and teaching in the Hochschule system. His students include Terri Lyne Carrington[5][6], Darren Beckett and Adam Cruz.[7]


As leaderEdit

  • On Target (Jazz Mania, 1993)
  • The Irish Connection (SteepleChase, 1996)
  • Round Trip (SteepleChase, 1997)
  • Postcard from Vancouver (Jazz Focus, 1998)[8]

As sidemanEdit

With Paul Bley

With Joshua Breakstone

With Stanley Cowell

  • Sienna (SteepleChase, 1989)
  • Departure #2 (SteepleChase, 1990)

With Johnny Griffin

With Johnny Hartman

With Sam Jones

With Charlie Rouse

With Rory Stuart

  • Hurricane (Sunnyside, 1986)

With Martin Wind

  • Tender Waves (A Records, 1995)


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Thinking in jazz: the infinite art of improvisation by Paul Berliner, pgs 314, 331, 332, 364, 410, 423, 426, and 442
  3. ^ I walked with giants: the autobiography of Jimmy Heath by Jimmy Heath and Joseph McLaren, pgs 177, 184, and 185
  4. ^
  5. ^ The drummer's almanac by Jon Cohan
  6. ^ Ebony, April 1977
  7. ^ The rough guide to jazz by Ian Carr, Digby Fairweather, Brian Priestley, pg iii
  8. ^ "Keith Copeland | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 July 2017.

External linksEdit