Allen, Carl

    • Birth name: Carl Allen


    • Born: April 25, 1961


    • Genres: Jazz


    • Occupation: Musician


    • Instruments: Drums


    • Labels: Atlantic Records, Criss Cross, Alfa Jazz Records, Arabesque, Blue Note, Toshiba-EMI Japan, Triloka Records, Verve Records, Milestone, Big Apple Productions


    • Associated Acts: Freddie Hubbard, Don Braden, Cyrus Chestnut, Woody Shaw, Art Farmer, Jackie McLean, George Coleman, Phil Woods, Eliane Elias, Christian McBride, Benny Green Trio, Rickie Lee Jones, Benny Golson.


    • Influences: Art Blakey, Elvin Jones.


Carl is an American jazz drummer who has worked with a variety of artists but it was with the Benny Green trio that he met bassist Christian McBride. Since then the two have teamed up frequently, working for many combos of big name leaders. McBride also recruited Carl for his own band, Christian McBride & Inside Straight.

In 1988 Carl and Vincent Herring founded Big Apple Productions, which produced several albums featuring young jazz performers.

Carl joined the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2001, and became Artistic Director of Jazz Studies there in 2008. He was replaced as director by Wynton Marsalis in 2013 after which he left.

In 2011, Carl appeared in the HBO series Tremé as himself for two episodes in a studio recording scene in New York.

In 2014, he formed his own group, The Art of Elvin as a tribute to Art Blakey and Elvin Jones. The band debuted at the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) conference in Indianapolis, with Carl on drums, Freddie Hendrix (trumpet), Tivon Pennicott (tenor sax), Xavier Davis (piano), and Yasushi Nakamura (bass).

Carl is also a drumset clinician who regularly performs at schools, universities, and music stores around the globe. See his official website for more information and for a list of his current endorsers.