Luther Allison

Luther Allison's Biography

Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Luther S. Allison is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in both piano and drum set. In 2017 Allison earned his BM in Studio Music & Jazz from The University of Tennessee and his MM in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University in 2019. Early on in his collegiate studies Allison was recruited by trombonist Michael Dease to record on his 2016 release Father Figure with Posi-Tone Records, becoming Allison’s professional recording debut at 19 years old. Soon after Allison went on to record as a sideman on several more albums with Posi-Tone Records including Diego Rivera’s Connections (piano) Michael Dease’s Reaching Out (piano), Dease’s Give It All You Got (drums), Dease’s Never More Here (piano), and Markus Howell’s Get Right (drums).

Upon graduation, Allison moved to New York City where he quickly became a regular on the bandstand at some of the city’s premiere jazz clubs including Dizzy’s, Smalls Jazz Club, The Jazz Standard, Mezzrow, Smoke Jazz Club, and Minton’s. Allison has performed nationally and internationally alongside the likes of Rodney Whitaker, Jazzmeia Horn, The Baylor Project, Samara Joy, Gregory Tardy, Ulysses Owens Jr. and many more. In addition to teaching on faculty every year at the Brevard Jazz Institute summer camp in North Carolina, Allison has worked as a clinician in Mexico, China, Japan, Switzerland, St. Lucia, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Outside of his work as a sideman, Allison band-leads both his trio and sextet featuring original compositions and arrangements rooted in his influences from R&B, country, and gospel. Allison accredits a great deal of his compositional inspiration and musical development to his experience playing in the black church along with the sounds of Earth Wind & Fire, Anita Baker, Sly and The Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, and many others playing in his household throughout his upbringing. Currently Allison is based in New York City where he serves as Director of Percussion and Adjunct Jazz Faculty at The Calhoun School.

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Luther Allison