Tyshawn Sorey

Band: Steve Lehman Octet

"To me, Aquarian Drumheads are the most musical sounding drumheads that I've ever played on! They are VERY easy to tune, and feel great to play on. The best part of all is that they seat well, and stay in tune; very minor to no tweaking on the drums is needed. The SOUND of the heads knocks me out! To boot, Aquarian Drumheads has such a personable staff that is easy to work with, and they are very knowledgeable about all things drums - it truly feels like being a part of a family. I feel that Aquarian's product is something that is totally relevant to what I'm about as a musician...the ability of sounding musical coupled with expanding the sonic spectrum of the drum kit."


Born on July 8, 1980 in Newark, NJ, Tyshawn Sorey is a drummer (who also performs on piano and trombone), composer, and educator who works across a very extensive range of musical mediums ranging from rock, jazz, free improvisation, blues, and funk to klezmer, Afrobeat, contemporary classical, Afro-Cuban, and chamber ensemble settings. Since high school and during his years at William Paterson University (where he received his Bachelor’s degree in jazz studies and performance), he has had the opportunity to study drumming and ensemble playing in various contexts with legendary musicians such as Billy Hart, Ralph Peterson Jr., Bill Goodwin, and John Riley. In addition, Sorey has also studied West African and Japanese drumming traditions with Ghanaian master drummer Abraham Adzenyah and taiko player Mark Hideyuki Rooney while pursuing his Master’s degree at Wesleyan University and has since applied the music to the drum set.

Since 2000, Tyshawn has performed and/or recorded with many musicians such as Steve Coleman, Butch Morris, Dave Douglas, Jason Moran, Ikue Mori, Brandon Ross, David Binney, Pete Robbins, Kokayi (of Opus Akoben), Muhal Richard Abrams, JD Allen, Matana Roberts, Roscoe Mitchell, and Aaron Parks, among many others. In addition to leading his regular working trio, Sorey is presently involved in collaborations with Vijay Iyer (trio and sextet), Himanshu of Das Racist, Myra Melford, Steve Lehman (quintet and octet), Mario Pavone, Michele Rosewoman’s Quintessence (quintet) and New Yor-Uba project (a 12-piece Afro-Cuban folkloric/jazz hybrid ensemble), Mike Ladd, various projects with John Zorn and the International Contemporary Ensemble, for which he also composes chamber works.


Drumheads Preferences

Snare Batter:

Modern Vintage

Snare Resonant:

Classic Clear Snare Bottom

Tom Batter

Modern Vintage

Tom Resonant

Classic Clear

Kick Drum Batter

Superkick II

Kick Drum Resonant




Alloy, Pi Recordings with Cory Smythe and Christopher Tordini.         2014

Union, Clean Feed with Ingrid Laubrock and Kris Davis.    2012

Oblique – I, Pi Recordings  with John Escreet, Todd Neufeld, Loren Stillman, Christopher Tordini. 2011

Paradoxical Frog, Clean Feed with Ingrid Laubrock and Kris Davis.  2010

Koan, 482 Music  with Todd Neufeld and Thomas Morgan.  2009

Door, Pi Recordings with Fieldwork: Tyshawn Sorey, Vijay Iyer, and Steve Lehman.  2008

That/Not, Firehouse 12 Records with Cory Smythe, Ben Gerstein, and Thomas Morgan. 2007


Blue Buddha, Louis Belogenis, Tzadik Records                                                        2015

Blue Dialect, Mario Pavone, Clean Feed Records                                                      2015

Hen to Pan, John Zorn, Tzadik Records                                                                    2015

Valentines Day, John Zorn, Tzadik Records                                                              2014

Mise en Abîme, Steve Lehman Octet, Pi Recordings                                                 2014

Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, Vijay Iyer and Prashant Bhargava, ECM Records       2014

Sound, Space, and Structures, John Escreet (feat. Evan Parker),

Sunnyside Records                                                                                         2014

In The Hall of Mirrors, John Zorn, Tzadik Records                                                   2014

Two Worlds/Tsvay Veltn: The Poetry of Mordechai Gebirtig,

Benjy Fox-Rosen, Golden Horn Records                                                       2014

Steps, with Tomasz Dąbrowski, ForTune Records                                                     2013

I Thoth So, Aaron Burnett and the Big Machine, Truth Revolution Records                        2013

Same Egg, with Henry Grimes, Roberto Pettinato, Dave Burrell,

Sony Music Argentina                                                                                    2013

The Anton Webern Project, John O’Gallagher, Cadiz Recording Co.                        2013

Inherence, Timucin Sahin, Between The Lines                                                          2013

Lifted Land, David Binney, Criss Cross Records                                                       2013

Duets with Tyshawn Sorey and Special Guest Hugh Ragin,

Roscoe Mitchell, Wide Hive Records                                                            2013

Purity, with Henry Grimes, Roberto Pettinato, Dave Burrell,

Sony Music Argentina                                                                                    2012

Quartet, Max Johnson, Not Two Records

Quite Simply, Angelika Niescier, Enja Records                                                          2011

Trillium E, Anthony Braxton, New Braxton House Records                                    2011

My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains, with Roberto Pettinato

and Henry Grimes, Sony Music Entertainment Argentina                             2011

Leapfrog, Armen Donelian Ensemble, Sunnyside Records                                        2011

The Mancy Of Sound, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Pi Recordings                 2011

Antagonisti Androgeni, Biaggio Coppa, Ruby Flower Records                                 2010

siLENT Z Live, Pete Robbins, Hate Laugh Music                                                      2010

Harvesting Semblances and Affinities, Steve Coleman and Five Elements,

Pi Recordings                                                                                                  2010

Urban Creatures, Pascal Niggenkemper Trio, JazzHaus Muzik                                 2010

Konstanz Suite, Johannes Lauer Large Ensemble, Jazzwerkstatt                               2010

Bafa, Timucin Sahin, A.K. Records                                                                           2009

Pieces Of Old Sky, Samuel Blaser Quartet, Clean Feed                                             2009

The Winding Shell, Jesse Elder, Off Records                                                             2009

Travail, Transformation, and Flow, Steve Lehman Octet, Pi Recordings                 2009

Pasapos, Pascal Niggenkemper Trio, Konnex Records                                              2008

Day One, Meilana Gillard, Inner Circle Music                                                           2008

Modes Of Limited Transcendence, Gene Ess, Simp Records                                     2008

Consequences, John Escreet, Posi-Tone Records                                                       2008

Between Shadow and Space, Michael Dessen, Clean Feed Records                          2008

Do The Hate Laugh Shimmy, Pete Robbins, Fresh Sound New Talent                     2008

On Meaning, Steve Lehman Quintet, Pi Recordings                                                 2008

Conduction/Induction, Butch Morris, Rai Trade                                                         2007

Conspiracy for Positivity, Radam Schwartz, Blue Ark Records                                2005

Color of Dreams, Yayoi Ikawa, Yayoi Ikawa Music                                                 2005

Child Real Eyes, Andre Vida (with Anthony Braxton), Vidatone Records              2005

Beauty Under Construction, Werner Klausnitzer, Konnex Records                          2005

Demian as Posthuman, Steve Lehman, Pi Recordings                                              2005

Configuration, Sirone-Bang Ensemble, Silkheart Records                                         2004

Juncture, Various Artists, Pi Recordings                                                                    2003

Blood Sutra, Vijay Iyer, Pi Recordings                                                                      2003

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