Larnell Lewis (born March 22, 1984) is a Canadian drummer, composer, producer, and educator. He is most well known for playing drums with the Brooklyn-based jazz fusion band Snarky Puppy.

Larnell Lewis
Lewis at Port Hope Jazz Festival, 2008
Lewis at Port Hope Jazz Festival, 2008
Background information
BornMarch 22, 1984 (1984-03-22) (age 39)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s)Musician, drummer, session musician and educator

Biography edit

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Lewis started playing drums at age 2 and was first introduced to drums in church.[1] This is where he began to learn to play a variety of styles including gospel music, soca, calypso, reggae, zouk and funk.[2] He also studied electric bass and piano to further his knowledge of the melodic and harmonic aspects of music making.[3] Lewis’ parents were originally from St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean.[2]

Lewis attended Humber College, where he was the 2004 recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music, the highest award given by the institution.[3] Lewis was featured on the cover of the September 2016 issue of Modern Drummer magazine, alongside fellow Snarky Puppy drummers Robert “Sput” Searight and Jason “JT” Thomas.[4] In 2017 Lewis was named one of the Top 35 artists under 35 by CBC Music,[5] and also received the award for Emerging Jazz Artist from the Ontario Arts Foundation.[6] Lewis served as musical director for a performance during the Toronto International Film Festival's premiere of the critically acclaimed documentary Quincy, about famed producer Quincy Jones, where he led performances from the likes of Yebba Smith, Mark Ronson, and Chaka Khan.[7]

In 2018 Lewis released his first solo album, In The Moment, on which he played bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, melodica, percussion, piano, synthesizer and vocals, in addition to writing and producing.[8][9]

In February 2021 Lewis recorded a video for the YouTube channel Drumeo in which he listened to the Metallica song "Enter Sandman" for the first time, then played the drum part of the entire song after having heard it just once. The video went viral, with over 14.6 million views as of September 2023.[10][11]

Session work edit

As of September 2022, Lewis is an active member of the jazz fusion band Snarky Puppy. He has also played with Laila Biali, Fred Hammond, Michael Brecker, Matt Dusk, Robi Botos, Molly Johnson, Elizabeth Shepherd, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Barbra Lica, and Tia Brazda.[9][12][13]

Lewis's performance on Snarky Puppy's 2014 album We Like It Here was notable because he learned most of the songs on the airplane flight to the Netherlands, having only played two of them before the recording date.[2] He also played on the group's 2016 albums Culcha Vulcha, which won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, and Family Dinner – Volume 2.

Lewis has also played on the JUNO Award-winning albums Clear Day by jazz singer Emilie-Claire Barlow,[14] and Root Structure by jazz bassist Mike Downes.[15]

Equipment edit

Lewis is endorsed by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian, Promark, Evans, D’Addario, and Latin Percussion.[16]

Discography edit

Solo edit

  • In the Moment (2018)[9]
  • Relive the Moment (2020)

With Snarky Puppy edit

Other artists edit

Awards and recognition edit

References edit

  1. ^ Ritchie, Kevin (April 10, 2014). "Larnell Lewis: Larnell Lewis, professional drummer and drum and music teacher at Humber College". NOW Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Rose, Willie (September 2016). "Snarky Puppy's Holy Trinity". Modern Drummer Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Long & McQuade and Yamaha Canada Present: Larnell Lewis – Hybrid Drumming Workshop at NMC". National Music Centre. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "Snarky Puppy's Holy Trinity". Modern Drummer Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  5. ^ Morin, Scott. "Snarky Puppy's Holy Trinity". CBC Music. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Larnell Lewis is the 2017 Emerging Jazz Artist Award Recipient". Toronto Arts Foundation. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Band". Snarky Puppy. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Larnell Lewis". Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Larnell Lewis". Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  10. ^ Baird, Corey (March 14, 2021). "Grammy winning Toronto musician can play any song after hearing it one time". CTV News Toronto. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  11. ^ "Larnell Lewis Hears Enter Sandman For The First Time". Drumeo. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  12. ^ a b Andrews, Coral (December 9, 2016). "The Band". The Record. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  13. ^ a b "This rising jazz-pop star has roots in New West". New West Record. September 5, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  14. ^ "Vocal Jazz Album of the Year". JUNO Awards. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  15. ^ "Jazz Album: Solo". JUNO Awards. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  16. ^ "About". Snarky Puppy. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Discogs". Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  18. ^ "Jazz and Improvised". The Wholenote. December 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  19. ^ Popovic, Ivana (March 28, 2018). "POT POURRI". The Wholenote. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  20. ^ "Best Contemporary Instrumental Album". Grammy Awards. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  21. ^ "Jazz Album of the Year: Solo". JUNO Awards. Retrieved February 2, 2019.

External links edit