Payton Crossley

Drummer Payton Crossley broke into the jazz major leagues at age 20 with the great pianist Ahmad Jamal. From ages 14 to 18, he studied with and received invaluable advice from famed drummer and teacher Alan Dawson — whose students included the innovative Tony Williams.

“Drums allow you to tap into your whole being, from primal to delicate nuance, anything that you can capture in music,” Crossley says. “Basically, drums are the heartbeat of everything that goes on. I like that feeling of being able to participate on such a broad level.”

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