Basic Background Info
Born in Zurich, Switzerland, as the son of a musician, Jojo Mayer traveled throughout Europe and the Far East with his father, bass player Vali Mayer. Jojo Mayer received his first drum kit when he was two years old; the following year he performed to an audience in Hong Kong. Surrounded by music and constantly moving around, Jojo Mayer basically taught himself to play.
In the early 1980s, Jojo joined Monty Alexander's band touring Europe's big jazz festivals. This exposure to other jazz performers led to performances with Dizzy Gillespie and Nina Simone, among many others.
In 1991 Jojo moved to New York City and dove into the live and studio performing opportunities in the city, while still touring around the world. Jojo Mayer also writes and produces music. And he frequently offers drum clinics and seminars internationally.
Shortly after settling in New York, Jojo created a weekly event called Prohibited Beatz in local clubs, which was a forum for live breakbeats, stylistic hybrids, and mutations of electronic music. This project was described as an "endeavor in reverse engineering the textures and rhythms of the current stream of computer generated music into a live performed, improvisational format." Personally, Jojo Mayer performed with Nerve, a project integrating electronic beats with live drums, at many Prohibited Beatz events. Although Prohibited Beatz is no longer active, Jojo Mayer continues performing with Nerve.
Jojo Mayer's drumming fuses jazz, drum and bass, and jungle into a unique sound. Jojo Mayer's exceptional techniques include the one-handed roll, made possible with the push-pull and the Moeller technique.
Throughout his impressive career Jojo Mayer played with a great variety of artists including The Screaming Headless Torsos, Meshell N'degeoccello, Vernon Reid's Science Project, DJ Spooky, Emergency Broadcast Network, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Wayne Krantz, Harry Pepl, Gerald Veasley, Monty Alexander, John Zorn, James Blood Ulmer, Chico Freeman, George Adams, Dhaffer Yousef, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, John Medeski, Hiram Bullock, Depart, Wolfgang Puschnigg, The intergalactic Maiden Ballet, Friedrich Gulda, Harry Sokal, Mike Stern, Steve Coleman, Rebekka Bakken, Wah Wah Watson, and many more.
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