JazzFest History

Greg Bandy

Awarded: 2000
Born: Cleveland, Ohio

"One of those rare old-school drummers who remind you what the art of jazz percussion is all about."

- New Yorker Magazine


Master drummer Greg Bandy has no idea how he earned the title, " The Mayor of Harlem," but it stuck so he kept it. Bandy played his first professional gig as an 11-year-old. His father, a music promoter, enrolled him in the Cleveland Music School Settlement. By age 13, Bandy was touring with the WJMO Road Show, which featured musical children from inner city Cleveland. Following his graduation from Glenville High School, Bandy moved to New York, where he achieved an international reputation over the next two decades, performing with such greats as Joe Henderson, Betty Carter, Groove Holmes, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine and more. Splitting his time between New York Cleveland since 1993, Bandy has inspired and mentored new generations of jazz musicians. He taught at Tri-C and Oberlin while maintaining an international touring schedule.