Karl Latham

“Karl Latham is an inventive powerhouse whose influences are many but whose ideas are his own.”

Jeff Tamarkin Allmusic.com

Karl’s career has spanned the globe performing, recording with 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 funk, rock, Latin, modern jazz, straight-ahead jazz, and avant-garde. Karl is included in the Drummerworld Top 500 Drummers list and was nominated with Mark Egan and Ryan Carniaux for the BMW 2016 Welt Jazz Award. Karl is an endorsing artist for Paiste Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Innovative Percussion, Evans Drumheads, Big Fat Snare,AEA Microphones and RME. Karl is currently an adjunct percussion instructor at Drew University, County College of Morris and Passaic County Community College.

As a freelance drummer Karl has performed Ali Ryerson; The Bernie Worrell Orchestra; Charlie Elgart; Michal Urbaniak; Jerry Vivino; Andy Snitzer; Edgar Winter; Johnny Winter; The Shirelles; The Real Deal Big Band;  John Lee (Executive Director Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra);  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; Yotam Silberstein; Jon Faddis; Roy Assaf; Ed Cherry; Clifford Carter; Paul Rose; Bobby Messano; Liz Queller; Johannes Mossinger Quartet (with guests Joel Frahm, Don Braden, Seamus Blake, Johannes Enders and Joe Lovano); Howard Paul with guests Tom Scott and Jody Espina; Johannes Mossinger Quartet (with guests Joel Frahm, Don Braden, Seamus Blake, Johannes Enders and Joe Lovano); Don Byron; Pete Levin; Dave Stryker;  David Spinozza; Atilla Zoller; Oz Noy; Clifford Carter; Paul Rose; Bobby Messano; Mattias Schieffel; Andy Hunter; Stefanie Schlesinger and the great vibraphonist/composer Wolfgang Lackerschmid and subbed on the Broadway productions of “Bring It On” , “Hamilton”,  and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”.

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). As co leader Karl has released Don Braden/Karl Latham “Big Fun(K) Live” (2012) and Karl Latham/Ryan Carniaux/Mark Egan “Constellations” (2014) and his latest release Karl Latham “Living Standards” with Mark Egan and Vic Juris.

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 and Joe Morello. Karl is a long-standing adjunct professor at several New Jersey colleges, including Drew University, the County College of Morris and Passaic County Community College. Karl has also taught at Ramapo College and Sussex County Community College. Karl continues to teach workshops, master classes and clinics in the USA and abroad.

Karl is a proud artist/endorsee for:

Yamaha Drums

Paiste Cymbals

Evans Drumheads

Innovative Percussion

AEA Ribbon Microphones


Big Fat Snare Drums

Radial Engineering

Karl is widely recognized as a veteran of the modern European Jazz scene since 1993. since 2001 Karl has appeared regularly with German pianist/composer Johannes Mossinger, including 7 CD releases along with notable jazz musicians:

Karl  has performed with German vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid with:

  • John Lee
  • Cameron Brown
  • Michal Urbaniak
  • Attila Zoller
  • Randy Brecker
  • Stefanie Schlesinger
  • Henning Sieverts
  • Ryan Carniaux
  • Mark Egan.

Karl Latham Voted #7 Drummer in The 38th Annual Jazz Station Awards / The Best Jazz of 2016

Voted  “The Best 25 Instrumental Jazz CD” The 38th Annual Jazz Station Awards Best of 2016
Voted #5 Drummer in The 37th Annual Jazz Station Awards /Best Jazz of 2015
Voted #7 Drummer in The 35th Annual Jazz Station Awards / The Best Jazz of 2013

Drummerworld Top 500 Drummers

“‘Constellations’ is not your traditional jazz-fusion record with the expected constant grooves and singable melodies. It’s a record that carries you into another world, challenging your musical sensibilities as it takes you on the journey. Constellations is part of the new jazz movement that is shaping how we listen and evolve our music sensibilities in the 21st century and beyond.”

– Conrad Gayle (Twitter @CON_RADICAL) The Spill Magazine









“Jazz drummer Latham, inspired by Bjork’s 2007 side Volta, brilliantly reinterprets the Nordic chanteuse’s sound, style, and sensibility with the help of Mark Egan (on fretted and fretless Pedulla S-strings), trumpeter Ryan Carniaux, and keyboardist Nick Rolfe.”

Chris Jisi Bass Player Magazine


“Latham is an unshakable catalyst.

Owen Cordle JazzTimes

Big Funk is exactly that featuring drummer Karl Latham leading a pumping rhythm
section.  They provide a solid landscape for Don Braden (sax, fl) to build upon. The
program is mostly originals with a couple of complementary covers thrown in.
Keyboardist Nick Rolfe shares the lead lines with Braden and bassist Gary Foote is right
there with them as on “Deja Vu” and the explosive “A Foote In The Door”. Don shows his
stuff on “Having A Ball” a solo prelude to “Lucy In the Sky”. Energy packed to get your
head nodding and definitely funky!

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