Basic Background Info

Birth: November 29, 1955
Location: New York City, New York
Band: Abercrombie, George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band & Trio, James Moody Quartet, Steve Swallow Trio
Genres: Jazz
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Adam Nussbaum was born in the borough of Manhattan, but his family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut, when he was very young. He first began playing the piano at the age of seven and switched to the drums five years later. Adam possessed a natural talent playing the drums, piano, saxophone, and bass during his teenage years before focusing almost exclusively on the drums in his late teens. Adam moved back to New York City in 1975 to attend The Davis Center for Performing Arts at New York City College. While attending school, he played with influential musicians like Monty Waters and Sheila Jordan.

In 1977, Adam performed with Sonny Rollins for the first time after moving to Milwaukee. His skilled performances with Sonny Rollins and other artists propelled his career and popularity to new heights. In 1978, Adam went on his very first European tour with the Dave Liebman Quintet.

During the early 1980s, Adam toured with various bands and artists, including John Scofield, Steve Swallow, Gil Evans Orchestra, and Stan Getz. In 1987, Adam joined the Michael Brecker Quintet and recorded the Grammy Award-winning “Don’t Try This at Home.”

Since the start of Adam’s professional career, he played with hundreds of artists and bands including B A N N, NUTTREE, and We Three. Today, Adam Nussbaum plays with multiple bands and also freelances. Additionally, Adam teaches at New York University, New School, and State University of New York at Purchase.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1963 More Adventures Various Artists
1978 'Round About Midnight Ted Curson
1978 Rough House John Scofield
1979 Doin' It Again Dave Liebman
1979 Ivory Forest Hal Galper Quartet
1979 Who's Who? John Scofield
1980 Bar Talk John Scofield
1980 If Only They Knew Dave Liebman
1981 25 Years George Gruntz
1981 Out Like a Light John Scofield
1981 Shinola John Scofield
1982 Motion/Stillness Tom Varner
1983 Hanalei Bay Lew Soloff
1983 Living in the Crest of a Wave Bill Evans
1984 Advance Bobby Watson
1984 From the Heart Jim McNeely
1984 Live at Sweet Basil, Vol. 2 Gil Evans
1984 Live at Sweet Basil, Vols. 1 & 2 Gil Evans
1985 Live in New York City, Vol. 5: Raca Jaco Pastorius
1986 Simply Eloquent Morgana King
1987 Abracadabra Jeff Palmer/David Liebman/John Abercromb
1987 Elusive Glenn Wilson
1987 New York Album Lee Konitz Quartet
1987 Visions Tom Harrell
1988 Don't Try This at Home Michael Brecker
1988 Jazz Song Book Herb Geller
1988 Kodo Marc Ducret
1988 On the Edge Mike Richmond
1989 Avenue "U" Peter O'Mara
1989 Color Rick Margitza
1989 Dance for Andy Mike Richmond
1989 Dreams Neils Lan Doky
1989 East Coast Blow Out Jim McNeely
1989 First Prize George Gruntz
1989 Lineage Jerry Bergonzi Quartet
1989 Musicmasters Jazz Sampler Various Artists
1989 Nepenthe Eddie Daniels
1989 New York Hardball Conrad Herwig
1989 Round and Round Lee Konitz
1989 Serious Fun George Gruntz Trio
1989 Some Other Time: A Tribute To Chet Baker Richie Beirach
1989 Standard Gonz Jerry Bergonzi
1990 Actor Actress Salvatore Bonafede Quartet
1990 Friendship Niels Lan Doky
1990 Guitar Player Presents: Legends of Guitar: Jazz, Vol. Various Artists
1990 Jazz Christmas Various Artists
1990 Joy Spring Doug Sertl
1990 Now You See It...Now You Don't Michael Brecker
1990 S'posin' Loren Schoenberg
1990 Sequel Christian Minh Doky
1990 Yule Struttin' Various Artists
1991 Amulet Conrad Herwig Quintet
1991 Blues 'n Dues Et Cetera George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band
1991 Distortion of Love Patricia Barber
1991 In the Door Joey Calderazzo
1991 Inspiration Ron McClure Trio
1991 Letters Christian Minh Doky
1991 Passage Dave Stryker
1992 Day After Day Hans Ulrik
1992 Enja 20th Anniversary Sampler Various Artists
1992 Kaleidoscope Mario Stantchev
1992 Sail Away Tom Harrell
1992 Stolen...And Other Moments Mark Murphy
1992 Straight Up Judy Niemack
1992 Third Eye Bruce Gertz
1992 Toronto Concert John Abercrombie
1992 While We're Young John Abercrombie
1993 Guitar Tribute to the Beatles: Come Together Various Artists
1993 I Mean You George Trio Cables
1993 If We May Paul Bley
1993 Speak of the Devil John Abercrombie/Dan Wall/Adam Nussbaum
1994 Acoustic Jazz Various Artists
1994 Bite of the Apple Peter Delano
1994 Blues on a Par Doug Raney
1994 Continuation Lars Danielsson
1994 Discovery Zone Bruce Gertz 5et
1994 Jazz My Dear Nuccio Intrieri
1994 Real Time Eddie Daniels
1994 Stardust Dave Stryker
1994 Starting Now Chris Kase
1994 Very Early Joe Locke Trio
1995 Artwork Jack Wilkins
1995 Blueprint Bruce Gertz
1995 Chesky Woodwinds Collection Various Artists
1995 Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge Chuck Owen & The Jazz Surge
1995 Farewell John Abercrombie & Andy Laverne
1995 Good Listener Miles Quintet Donahue
1995 In This Together Anders Bergcrantz Quartet
1995 Key of the Moment Peter Weniger
1995 Live at Sweet Basil Anders Bergcrantz Quartet
1995 Mock-Lo-Motion George Gruntz Trio
1995 Sail Away Tom Harrell
1996 Best of Two Worlds Stefan Bauer
1996 Deconstructed Steve Swallow
1996 Just Within Jerry Bergonzi
1996 Loyalties Chuck Bergeron
1996 New York Breed Conrad Herwig
1996 Sins 'n Wins 'n Funs George Gruntz
1996 Tactics John Abercrombie/Dan Wall/Adam Nussbaum
1996 Thick & Thin Gary Campbell
1997 Live at Jazz Club Fasching Various Artists
1997 Off the Wall Dan Wall
1997 Origo Lars Danielsson Trio
1997 Two Words Stefan Bauer
1998 Anders Bergcrantz Quartet Anders Bergcrantz Quartet
1998 Jazz Standards Mark Murphy
1998 Lost in the Shuffle Jerry Bergonzi
1998 Minh Chris Minh Doky
1998 On Again Jerry Bergonzi
1998 Starlight Fritz Renold & Bostonian Friends
1999 All Around Town JeanfranÁois Prins
1999 Escape Jens Winther & the WDR Big Band
1999 Monk's Mood David Liebman Trio
1999 Open Land John Abercrombie
1999 Ram Records Jazz Sampler Various Artists
1999 Red Handed Bruce Gertz
1999 Shoutin' Out: The Tunes of Horace Silver Various Artists
1999 Songbook Mark Murphy
1999 Time Lines Christian Jacob Trio
2000 Always Pack Your Uniform on Top Steve Swallow Quintet
2000 As Long as You're Living Yours: The Music of Keith Ja Various Artists
2000 Beyond Virtuosity Lelo Nika
2000 Duke Ellington's Sacred Music Big Band de Lausanne
2000 Forgotten Richard Cole
2000 Jamey Aebersold Jazz: John Coltrane Various Artists
2000 Jazz Classics: Wayne Shorter Various Artists
2000 Jazz Sampler, Vol. 1 Various Artists
2000 John Coltrane, Vol. 2 Various Artists
2000 Live It Up Rudy Linka
2000 Live Takes, Vol. 1 Toots Thielemans
2000 Night Club Patricia Barber
2000 Past Tense Jay Azzolina
2000 Rasa Matt Hilgenberg
2000 Slagle Plays Monk Steve Slagle
2000 Sundays Are for Jazz, Vol. 1 Various Artists
2000 Tender Moments Morgana King
2000 Wiggy Jerry Bergonzi
2001 At the Moment Kim Pensyl
2001 Baby Plays Around Curtis Stigers
2001 Bemsha Luigi Tessarollo Trio
2001 Different Look Jerry Bergonzi
2001 Easy Go John McLean
2001 Global Sound-Diamond Dalia Faitelson
2001 Her Point of View Olga Konkova
2001 In New Orleans Toots Thielemans
2001 In the Moment Joachim Schoenecker
2001 New York City After Hours Various Artists
2002 Jazz4Chillin' Various Artists
2002 Jerry Bergonzi: Sound Advice Jamey Aebersold
2002 Live at One Station Plaza Jay Azzolina Trio
2002 Night Club Patricia Barber
2002 Point of No Return Dalia Faitelson
2003 Damaged in Transit Steve Swallow
2003 I Heard It on NPR CD Box Set: Jazz for Blue Nights Various Artists
2003 In This Moment Jim McNeely
2003 Modern Jazz: A Collection of Seattle's Finest Jazz Various Artists
2003 Sail Away Tom Harrell
2003 Standards, Vol. 4: Embraceable You Miles Donahue
2003 Timeless Mark Murphy
2003 Trumpets Eleven Michael Davis
2004 Blue Horizon Vic Juris
2004 Dust in My Coffee Uffe Steen
2004 Four! Fleischer Junemann
2004 I Get Along With You Very Well Tony Lakatos
2004 Nite Blues The Devin Garramone Band
2004 Piano: A Collection of Seattle's Finest Jazz Various Artists
2004 Rarum, Vol. 14: Selected Recordings John Abercrombie
2005 Jam Session, Vol. 14 Various Artists
2005 Mysterious Voyages: A Tribute to Weather Report Various Artists
2006 Bounce Miles Donahue
2006 East to West Tony Monaco
2006 Good Time: Improve Your Time and Harmonic Awareness Jamey Aebersold
2006 Jam Session, Vol. 18 Dick Oatts/Billy Drews/Walt Weiskopf
2006 Michael Brecker Band in Japan Michael Brecker
2006 We Three: Three for All David Liebman/Steve Swallow/Adam Nussbau
2007 Art Of Playing With Brushes Various Artists
2007 Premonition Years: 1994-2002 Patricia Barber
2007 Reminiscene Gary Versace Trio
2007 Tenorist Jerry Bergonzi
2007 Time Piece Morrie Louden
2007 Universal Syncopations 2 Miroslav Vitous
2008 Standards The Nuttree Quartet
2008 Our Delight James Moody
2008 Catalysis Phil Markowitz
2008 Bailey's Melbourne Jazz Fest 2001 Various Artists
2009 The Comet's Tail: Performing the Compostions of Michael Brecker Chuck Owen
2009 Something Sentimental (Another) Nuttree Quartet
2010 Spiral Dave Wilson
2011 The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note Lee Konitz
2011 Playing In Traffic Steve Swallow
2011 As You Like BANN
2011 Amazing Steve Swallow
2012 Now & Then: A Portrait Ratko Zjaca
2012 Celebration: Life, Love and Music Tony Monaco
2013 Iridium Live 008 4-8-2012 Pete Levin
2013 Internationally Recognised Aliens Impossible Gentlemen
2014 Beyond the Lines ZZ Quartet


  • Adam reluctantly ended up a musician. He tried to lure himself away from the career by attended Emerson College, a liberal arts school, for one year.
  • Adam received a Grammy Award with the Michael Brecker Quintet for "Don't Try This at Home."

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Sonor
Cymbals: Zildjian
Hardware: Drum Workshop
Heads: Evans
Percussion: Latin Percussion
Sticks: Zildjian

Pics & Clips