Karl Latham Drummer
Karl Latham has performed with Grammy Award winning artists, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members and many acclaimed artists including The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Group, John Lee with Cyrus Chestnut, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Freddie Hendrix, The Fantasy Band with Dave Valentine, Noel Pointer, Larry Coryell, Cornell Dupree and Victor Bailey, Johnny Winter, The Shirelles (Music Director), Bernie Worrell and Edgar Winter. Karl leads his own group “Living Standards” and co-leads Don Braden/Karl Latham Big Fun(K). Karl performed in the groups of Wolfgang Lackerschmid and Johannes Mossinger in Europe for decades. Karl has subbed on the Broadway productions of “Bring It On”, “Hamilton”, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”, and “Ain’t Too Proud”.
Karl is member of the Percussive Arts Society Education Committee, and a long serving adjunct professor at Drew University, County College of Morris and PCCC.
Karl is an endorsing artist for Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, ProMark Drumsticks, RME, AEA, Heil Sound and Big Fat Snare.
Karl is included in the Drummerworld Top Drummers list.
As a Co Leader
Don Braden/Karl Latham Big Funk
A Groove/Jazz/Soul Journey
The Don Braden/Karl Latham co-led Jam/Jazz/Funk group, Big Fun(k), is a dream band for the group of musicians who have known each other and played in various groups together for years. Each member is well known for their individual careers as band leaders, sidemen, studio players and road men. Coming together in this collection
brings out the best in each player.
Don Braden is a widely respected saxophone player who tours the world with top artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Haynes, the late Tony Williamsand many others. In addition, Don has produced 15 CDs as a leader and spent years as a composer for Bill Cosby.
Karl Latham is based in Warwick, New York.
As a co leader
The nascency of the “Desired Constellation” Project was a dream that drummer Karl Latham had after his first listening of Bjork’s “Volta” recording. Karl would play the CD incessantly, in every free moment, discovering and rediscovering the limitless creative vision of Bjork. A long time fan of Bjork’s genius, Karl had attempted to pay homage to Bjork on a recording of “Pagan Poetry” on his critically acclaimed “Resonance” CD, but felt longing to attempt a personally, more “true” representation of his impression of Bjork.
Karl approached the concept with close friend and iconic bassist Mark Egan. Collectively they considered many musicians to realize the vision, never settling on a group or instrumentation, but as constellations align, Mark and Karl performed in July of 2012 on Wolfgang Lackerschmid’s “Magic Brewery” recording. The music recorded was magic and an immediate personal and creative magical bond was formed with rising star trumpeter Ryan Carniaux. Karl knew he had found the third element toward realizing the project coalescing in his mind.
Karl, Mark and keyboardist, vocalist and composer Nick Rolfe had performed many times together and Karl realized from the height of magic “free” moments with Nick in performances with Big Funk that Nick Rolfe was the final piece to introduce to the project.
In March of 2013 the universe aligned, Ryan Carniaux was going to be in the US, Nick, Mark and Karl were off the road and Barbershop Studios and engineer Jeremy Gillespie were all available. Little pre-production was utilized, the group hoped to capture their own personal impressions of Bjork’s artistry and create soundscapes reflective of their shared collective vision.
The result is the music you are about to experience: a journey, explorations of conscious and subconscious reality and humble homage to the vision of one of the 20th Century’s most influential creative forces.
As a Leader
Karl Latham “Living Standards”
Karl Latham “Living Standards” first release is a culmination of both Latham’s protean imagination for transformative musical projects which unite sophisticated musicianship with themes that embrace a wider listenership and his musical and personal relationship with preeminent bassist Mark Egan and Master guitarist Vic Juris.
The album concept provides high level collective group playing, improvisation with rhythmic and harmonic adventure traveling in a vehicle of iconic popular music standards from the 60’s and 70’s. Karl is fond of referring to this project as Living Standards aka “Jazz for Everyone”.
“Living Standards” with Alex Collins, Mitch Stein and Gary Foote is in the process of recording a follow up release.
Karl Latham – Biography
Karl’s career has spanned the globe performing, recording and producing with Grammy Award winning artists, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members and multitude of internationally acclaimed musicians. Karl is known for his exceptional ability to dig into a variety of musical styles, playing with acclaimed artists in funk, rock, R&B, Latin, modern jazz, straight-ahead jazz, avant-garde and Broadway.
Karl was born into a musical family; his mother had been a former radio singer and older brother Rick (not the Rick Latham of international drumming fame) started Karl drumming at a very early age. Karl studied with Vincent “Muzzy” Mizzoni and Joe Cusatis during his high school years. Karl won many music competitions as a youth, including All County, North New Jersey Area and Region Bands and New Jersey All State Band as a classical snare drummer and tympanist. Karl attended Rutgers University, performing as solo tympanist in the advanced wind ensemble before choosing to pursue drum set as his principal focus. Karl went on to attend Berklee College of Music and Ohio University, from which he received a B.S.S in Computer Based Music.
While in college Karl participated in the 1983 Carmine Appice Mattel Synsonics National Drum Battle, competing in a field of 7500 drummers nationwide. Karl won 2nd Place in the final competition in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, the great Sonny Emory won 1st Place.
After college Karl worked as a computer programmer/analyst from 1984-1988, performing with several different groups and teaching privately. During this period Karl studied with the legendary drummer and drum education guru, Gary Chester, from Gary’s recently published iconic drum method “The New Breed”. On Gary’s urging Karl became a full-time musician, leaving the corporate life behind to record with RCA artist Charlie Elgart. Karl appears on both of Charlie Elgart’s RCA releases. Karl recorded on countless karaoke tracks for Rock Video International during this time.
Karl was a regular performer in the NY area CD101.9 Fantasy Band, where he met legendary bassist John Lee, which formed a lifelong relationship. John introduced Karl to Europe’s leading vibraphonist, Wolfgang Lackerschmid. Karl performed in many of Lackerschmid’s group starting in 1993 through present times. Karl is a staple in the NJ jazz scene where he has performed with many notable local artists for over 30 years, including the NJ legendary group “The Dalton Gang” led by guitarist/composer/arranger Willy Dalton.
In the early 2000’s Karl became friends with legendary bassist Mark Egan. With Mark, Karl performed in the groups of Ali Ryerson with Pete Levin, Unit1 with John Hart, Living Standards with Vic Juris and the 2016 BMW World Jazz Award nominated group “Constellations” culminating in a concert in Munich at BMW Global Headquarters.
Karl continues to perform with iconic groups including with the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars and Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Latin Experience with guest Paquito D’Rivera, the John Lee Quartet with Cyrus Chestnut, Freddie Hendrix, Alex Collins; and many others. Current projects include “Living Standards”; Don Braden/Karl Latham "Big Fun(K) "and a collective group with Bob Gluck and Christopher Dean Sullivan.
As a freelance drummer Karl has performed with notable artists including: The Bernie Worrell Orchestra; Charlie Elgart; Michal Urbaniak; Andy Snitzer; Edgar Winter; Johnny Winter; The Shirelles; John Lee (Executive Director Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Groups); The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars; The Fantasy Band (Dave Valentine; Dave Samuels; Chuck Loeb, Noel Pointer, Victor Bailey, Cornell Dupree, Roy Ayers, Larry Coryell); Claudio Roditi; Slide Hampton; Clark Terry; Tomoko Ohno; Michael Dease; Sharrel Cassidy; Martin Pizzarelli; Yotam Silberstein; Jon Faddis; Johannes Mossinger Quartet (with guests Joel Frahm, Don Braden, Seamus Blake, Johannes Enders and Joe Lovano); Howard Paul, President Benedetto Guitars (with guests Tom Scott, Laurence Hobgood, Anat Cohen and Jody Espina); Ali Ryerson; Stefanie Schlesinger; Wolfgang Lackerschmid (with Atilla Zoller, Ed Cherry, Cameron Brown, and Ronnell Bey). Karl has subbed on the Broadway productions of “Bring It On”, “Hamilton”, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”, and “Ain’t Too Proud”. Karl is a current member of the Percussive Arts Society Education Committee. Karl is included in the Drummerworld Top Drummers list.
Karl is co-leader of Big Fun(K) with saxophonist/composer Don Braden and co leader with Ryan Carniaux and Mark Egan of the “2016 BMW Welt Jazz Award” nominated group “Constellations”. Karl was a member of the electric jazz jam group, Unit1, with Mark Egan and guitarist John Hart. As a sideman, Karl has appeared on countless recordings. To date Karl has released three CD’s as a leader: “Dancing Spirits” (1999) and “Resonance” (2007) and Karl Latham “Living Standards” with Mark Egan and Vic Juris. As co leader Karl has released Don Braden/Karl Latham “Big Fun(K) Live” (2012), Karl Latham/Ryan Carniaux/Mark Egan “Constellations” (2014) , and Alex Collins/Ryan Berg/Karl Latham “Together” (2021).
Karl is an endorsing artist for Paiste Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, ProMark Drumsticks, Evans Drumheads, Big Fat Snare, AEA Microphones, Radial Engineering, Heil Sound and RME.
Karl received a B.S.S. from Ohio University and studied music performance at Rutgers University, Ohio University and Berklee College of Music, including private studies with drumming greats Gary Chester, Michael Carvin and Joe Morello.
Karl has been an Adjunct Professor in percussion/drumset at:
Drew University since 2015- present
County College of Morris 2007-present
Passaic County Community College 2001-present.
Karl has participated in the teaching collective ONE2ONE STUDENTS OF THE MASTER, TEACH – ONE2ONE ON “THE NEW BREED”.