Andrew Drury (b. 1964, Bellevue, Washington) is a drummer, percussionist, composer, improviser, educator, and presenter whose work embraces the continuum from tradition to exploration. Growing up in the Seattle area he cites the Pacific Ocean and the landscapes of Western North America as formative to his aesthetic sense. He was also inspired as a teenager by his encounter with African-American music. Today Drury is known for his propulsive drumming, distinctive compositional voice, and inventive use of extended techniques. He has performed in 25 countries and on over 50 recordings.
From 1983-88 Drury attended Wesleyan University where he studied with the drummer Ed Blackwell and trombonist Bill Lowe. He remained in Connecticut until 1992 and lived in Seattle from 1994-98. During this period he worked in groups with Wadada Leo Smith, Bill Barron, Wayne Horvitz, John Tchicai, Steve Davis, and Brad Mehldau, and explored performances incorporating poetry, performance art, and environmental theater. By 2004 he had done street theater in Central America, performed and photographed 20 drum solos in Western US landscapes, wrote and performed a solo performance about the US involvement in El Salvador’s civil war. He also recorded four cds of his compositions (Polish Theater Posters, A Momentary Lapse, my fingers will be your tears, and the unreleased As We Speak) with musicians such as Myra Melford, Mark Dresser, Eyvind Kang, and Chris Speed.
Currently Andrew leads the quartet, Content Provider, whose debut recording features saxophonists Briggan Krauss and Ingrid Laubrock, and guitarist Brandon Seabrook and which was selected as a “Top Ten CD of 2015” by Andrey Henkin of the NYC Jazz Record. Drury also performs as a soloist and collaborates with a wide range of artists including 1032K (featuring Frank Lacy), Jason Kao Hwang, Stephanie Richards, Robert Dick’s Telepathic Television, Jack Wright, JD Parran, Gordon Beeferman’s Other Life Forms, and the Brooklyn Infinity Orchestra. He founded and curates the Soup & Sound House Concert Series in Brooklyn which has presented over 75 concerts with musicians from around the world.
Following an epiphany in 2002 Drury began exploring extended wind and friction techniques, a path of interest that has helped to open new possibilities of sound production for the drums. Applying various objects (such as faucet escutcheon, bamboo skewer, and dustpan) and techniques to floor tom or tympani, he manipulates sustained tones with a radically expanded frequency range and complex multiphonic textures and harmonies. This work is most recently documented on his 2015 solo cd, The Drum.
As an educator he has presented clinics and master classes in conservatories in Tallinn and Sarajevo as well as at UC San Diego, Columbia, Virginia, Wesleyan, Rutgers, CUNY Hunter, Western Oklahoma, Ithaca College, and others. Drury has led over 1,000 junk percussion workshops for people of all ages and backgrounds since 1989 in schools in New York City and Washington State, homeless shelters in Indiana, prisons in Connecticut, and in remote areas of Guatemala and Nicaragua. In 2000 the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation identified him as “one of the (…) most skilled and experienced community artists in America” when he was chosen to lead a six-month “Millennium Project” residency with the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin. In 2016 he was selected as a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Finalist. He is Director of Continuum Culture & Arts, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. www.continuumculture.orgDrury, Andrew