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Alexander's patterns across his kit exhibit creative variety, as well as fast hands and feet.

Howard Mandel

President of the Jazz Journalists Association in the USA

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Alexander’s take on drums is so unusual as to question lineage. Unlike the vast majority of jazz drummers who depend upon one or two ride cymbals to maintain drive, direction and groove, Alexander utilizes his battery of drums instead.

James Rozzi



Taru Alexander is an esteemed American jazz drummer whose award-winning career span over three decades. In the jazz community, there are individuals who come to music as a birthright, and Taru is one of them. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Taru grew up surrounded by the greatest jazz musicians, including his father, jazz legend Roland Alexander. With his exceptional talent and skills, Taru has appeared as a sideman on more than a hundred albums, collaborating with renowned jazz artists such as Salim Washington, Michael Marcus, Carlos Garnett, Rodney Kendrick, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Garrett, and many others.
Taru's passion for drums started at a young age, as his father Roland began taking him to gigs at just three years old. Taru was entranced by the drums and began to pick them up naturally before he was 10. He learned from the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Reggie Workman, Gary Bartz, and Kiani Zawadi. By nine years old, Taru was studying under the leadership of master drummers Rudy Collins, Andre Strobert, and Walter Perkins, and by the time he was 13, Alexander was performing alongside his father and bass legend Reggie Workman, with whom he studied at Brooklyn’s famed New Muse School in Crown Heights. At thirteen years old, Taru started performing professionally with his father Roland Alexander's quintet and studying drums at La Guardia Music & Art High School under Justin DiCioccio.
Taru's impressive talent and hard work paid off when he was just sixteen years old, recording his first album as a sideman with the Fred Ho Afro-Asian Ensemble on the Black Saint record label. He quickly established himself on the New York jazz scene, becoming one of the most sought-after drummers. Taru also toured the United States with the Moe Better Blues Band and The Drums of Fire bands.
As a leader, Taru has recorded two solo albums. His 2014 album "KoJo Time," released under the Jazz Leadsheet label, paid tribute to his father, Roland Alexander, by playing his original compositions. In 2022, Taru released his second solo album, "Echoes of the Masters," on one of the most prestigious world jazz labels, Sunnyside Records. Taru created an aural tribute to his father, the great Roland Alexander, and the tremendous musicians who passed the tradition down to him and future generations through their impact on the bandstand on his new recording, which is a collection of pieces by well-known jazz composers performed by an outstanding group of musicians who came of age under the tutelage of legendary performers on the bandstand. The album features exceptional jazz musicians who have truly paid their dues on the jazz scene, including James Hurt on piano, Rashaan Carter on bass, Antoine Roney on saxophone, and HANKA G as a guest vocalist. "Echoes of the Masters" album has received excellent reviews and was awarded 4 stars in Downbeat Magazine, with the review written by Howard Mandel, President of the Jazz Journalist Association, who hailed Taru's splendid quartet as making the late 60s post-bop sound fresh and true.
A lifetime of musical experience has imbued Alexander with the skills, knowledge, and swagger to play jazz as it should be played. Taru has performed domestically and internationally with a long list of esteemed jazz artists, including Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter, Roy Hargrove, Carlos Garnett, Rodney Kendrick, Branford Marsalis, Gary Bartz, Reggie Workman, and many others.
In 1996, Taru was honored with a proclamation for his musical achievements by Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz along with legendary jazz drummer Max Roach.
Taru Alexander's exceptional drumming skills and his dedication to jazz have made him an outstanding figure in the jazz community. He continues to inspire jazz enthusiasts with his innovative music and impeccable technique. According to James Rozzi at JAZZIZ Magazine, Taru's drumming talent is unique and breaks away from traditional jazz drumming techniques as he uses his entire drum set instead of relying on just one or two ride cymbals for rhythm and groove. Howard Mandel, President of the Jazz Journalists Association in the USA, has also praised Taru's drumming skills, noting that his patterns across the drum kit showcase not only creative variety but also impressive speed and dexterity in both hands and feet.


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