American drum-set doyen, Pheeroan akLaff reflects music centered in powerful ritual and imagination. Amid a milieu of mid-1970's Avant-Garde pioneers, he has performed at international festivals and multi-disciplined art venues since 1976. 

Born ( Paul Maddox) in Detroit, Michigan January 27, 1955,  
After brief studies with Randall Hicks (NJSO), and "Pistol" Allen (Motown), akLaff first played professionally with Travis Biggs, while they attended Eastern Michigan University and recorded his first 45 disc for local R&B singer Major Lasky, titled Remember Me Always (1973), before escaping school to find New York.

In 1975 he relocated to New Haven Connecticut and established the Deja Vu band with Dwight Andrews. There he met Wadada Leo Smith, which led to international performances and recordings with Oliver Lake, Anthony Davis, Henry Threadgill, and Amina Claudine Myers. His subsequent work with Sonny Sharrock, Andrew Hill, Cecil Taylor, Yamashita Yosuke, Amiri Baraka, Liu Sola, Tom Pierson, and Anthony Braxton, has become a monumental contribution to creative music legacy. 

Artistic Appointments 
Artist in Residence Par Do To, Warsaw Poland February 2013
Artist in Residence, Tufts University, April 2010
Artist in Residence, Carver Center, San Antonio, TX.- Frederick Douglass Chronicles -1996

Lecture, August 2010, on "Jazz and Spirituality", Studium Zentrum press, Austria

University Study
Eastern Michigan University  1972 - 1974
Private Study 
Travis Biggs, Richard (Pistol) AllenRandall Hicks 1969 - 1972,

Professional Affiliations and Activities
Assistant Curator - Kampo Bahal Gallery NYC/ Kyoto, 2007 – 2009
Co-Founder: Seed Artists Inc., Non-Profit for Artists and Communities, 2006
Member -La Compagnia de Colombari 2007- present

New York Foundation for the Arts Music Composition Award – 2000

A View from the Throne; a travel journal of Jazz in Japan –  2014
Rhythm and Stasis; a drum-set method manual for musicians – 2014

Ensemble Leader Recordings
Live in Japan Volume One 2012 Modern Masters
Global Mantras, 1997 - Modern Masters,
Sonogram –1989  - Mu, 
Fits Like A Glove –1983 - Gramavision 
Solo Recordings
Drumßet Variations / 2010,  Modern Masters
Drum- set Variations - a primer of drum-set patterns  -  2002
Duo Recordings
Brooklyn Waters, 1999, with Michael Cain 
Revolutionary Quill, 2003, with Anthony Braxton
House of Spirit; Mirth –1981 -  Passin’ Thru; Re-released in 2011 by Souljazz

Music in Film 
Hewitt Collection of African American Art  Charles Martin, 2008
Hats by Bunn, a documentary by Charles Martin, 2007
Ed Clark: A Brush With Success by Charles Martin 2006
Sweet Samoa by Tomas Casas 2003

Print Articles on Pheeroan akLaff
Musicworks article by Stuart Broomer Winter 2013
Slagwerk Magazine by Hugo Pinksterboer January 2012
Jazz Magazine (Spain) interview with Jorge Lopez Gereñu  Autumn 2010
Hot House Magazine cover article April 2004
Coda Magazine cover article July/August 1997
Signature Magazine Japan, Dr. Tekemura interview April 1996
The Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Jordan interview, January 1996
The Villager, interview New York, N.Y. February 1996
Modern Drummer, Noah Howard interview 12/95,
Drums Magazine Japan, Interview 1991
Marie Claire Japan, CD review 1990, Jazz Podium, Germany 1989
Musician Magazine Ted Drozdowski interview June 1989
RYTMI Magazine Finland #9-10 interview November 1987
Modern Drummer, Chip Stern interview May 1984
Midday Times Bombay, India interview January 1984
Coda Magazine Canada#186 interview January 1982
Ivoire Dimanche Magazine Ivory Coast#537 J.S. Bakiono interview June 1981
Ophelia Magazine Nigeria Volume 2 Frank Fairfax interview January 1981

Performance Highlights as Ensemble leader
Japan Tour 2013   Pheeroan akLaff "Dear Freedom Suite" ensemble: Okazaki, Kyoto, Nagoya, Tsu, Mie, Tokyo, Japan
60th year of Augst 6th remembrance Solo Concert Saikoji Temple Nagano, Japan 2005
Double Duo Ensemble – Rashied Ali, Ravi Coltrane, Mixashawn, Columbia University, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000
“W” Can’t Win Pheeroan akLaff -Solo, The Jazz Gallery, 2003
Frederick Douglass Chronicles - original music, concept, and oration of Frederick Douglass publications, Carver Center San Antonio TX. 1996

Performance Highlights as Accompanist
Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio with strings  Japan Tour 2011
Don Byron New Gospel Quintet  - Bridgestone Festival Sao Paolo Brazil May 2010
Cecil Taylor AHA Trio Lincoln Center, NYC 2008
Henry Brant Dormant Craters
Lincoln Center New York, Neely Bruce conductor, 2008
Wesleyan University 1998 Henry Brant conductor
Liu Sola Quartet - Wu Man, Fernando Sanders, Pheeroan akLaff, Beijing, Shanghai, China 2000
Andrew Hill Trio, Alice Tully Hall New York NY, 2000, Queen Elizabeth Hall London U.K., 1999
Andrew Hill Quartet, Benny Maupin, Rufus Reid, Pheeroan akLaff -Sweet Basil New York NY. 1999
Summit Conference  - Andrew Hill, Sam Rivers, Reggie Workman, Pheeroan akLaff 1997-1999

Interests: Music and Cognition, Criminal Justice Reform.


Geri Allen:
• Maroons (Blue Note, 1992) Ray Anderson:
• What Because (Gramavision, 1989) Anthony Braxton:
• The Charlie Parker Project ( Braxton House 2017) Live Piano Quartet (Leo, 1995) 
• Seven Standards (Knitting Factory, 1995) Don Byron:
• New Gospel Quintet, (Verve 2010) Tuskegee Experiments (Elektra/Nonesuch, 
• Bug Music (Nonesuch, 1990) Baikida Carroll:
• Shadows and Reflections (Soul Note, 1982)
• Door of the Cage (Soul Note, 1995) Dorothy Cowfield-  No Broken Dreams (Street Meeting 2008), Cows in the Sky (Street Meeting 2004), I'm A Cowgirl ( Street Meeting 2000), Anthony Davis:
• Of Blues and Dreams (Sackville, 1978)
• Hidden Voices (India Navigation, 1979)
• Episteme (Gramavision, 1981)
• Hemispheres (Gramavision, 1983)
• Ghost Factory (Gramavision, 1987)
• X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X 
 (Gramavision, 1992)
• The Enemy of Light, Marty Ehrlich:
• The Welcome (Sound Aspects, 1984) Fool Proof:
• No Friction (Mesa Blue Moon, 1988)Craig Harris:
• Shelter (JMT, 1986)Jerome Harris:
• Algorithms (Minor Music, 1986) Jay Hoggard:
• Love Survives (Gramavision, 1983)
• Riverside Dance (India Navigation, 1984)
• Love is the Answer (Muse, 1994)Michael Gregory Jackson:
• Gifts (Arista/Novus, 1979)
• Heart and Center (Arista/Novus, 1979) Oliver Lake:
• Holding Together (Black Saint, 1976)
• Life Dance of Is (Jive/Novus, 1978)
• Shine (Jive/Novus, 1978)
• The Prophet (Black Saint, 1981)
• Clevont Fitzhubert (Black Saint, 1981)
• Jump Up (Gramavision, 1981)
• Plug It (Gramavision, 1982)
• Compilation (Rhino, 1982)
• Expandable Language (Black Saint, 1984)
• Gallery (Gramavision, 1986)
• Impala (Mesa Blue Moon, 1988)
• Again and Again (Gramavision, 1991)
• Virtual Reality: Total Escapism (Gazell, 1991)
• Live at Willisau (Hat Art, 1995) Amina Claudine Myers:
• Song for Mother Earth (Leo, 1979) David Murray:
Karmen Gei • Quartet Live at the Village Vanguard, Yonn De New Air:
• Live at the Montreux International Jazz Festival (Black Saint, 1983)
• Air Show No. 1 (Black Saint, 1986) James Newton:
• African Flower (Blue Note, 1985)
• Romance and Revolution (Blue Note, 1986) Charles Papasoff:
• Papasoff (Red Toucan, 1993) Tom Pierson:
•The Hidden Goddess, Left Right, Planet of Tears , (Auteur ) Rob Reddy:
• Post-War Euphoria, Songs You Can Trust (Songlines, 1996) Michelle Rosewoman:
• The Source (Soul Note, 1984) Sonny Sharrock:
• Seize the Rainbow (Enemy, 1987)
• Live in New York (Enemy, 1989)
• Into Another Light (Enemy, 1996) Fred Simmons:
• Going Forth (1996) Wadada Leo Smith:
• National Parks Suite ( Cuneiform 2016) Ten Freedom Summer (Cuneiform 2012) Spiritual Dimensions ( Cuneiform 2010)  Hearts Reflection (Cuneiform 2009)  Song of Humility (KaBel, 1977)
• Spirit Catcher (Nessa, 1980) Liu Sola 
• Haunts (Also 1998) Live in Beijing (Also 1999) Apparitions (Also 2000) Paul Sullivan:
• Visit to the Rockies (River Music, 1987) Henry Threadgill:
• When Was That? (About Time, 1982)
• Just the Facts and Pass the Bucket 
 (About Time, 1983)
• Subject to Change (About Time, 1984)
• You Know the Number (Jive/Novus, 1986)
• Easily Slip Into Another World 
 (Jive/Novus, 1987)
• Makin’ a Move (Sony, 1995) Mal Waldron:
• My Dear Family (Evidence/Alfa, 1993) Carlos Ward:
• Live at The Bug
• Faces, Gunther Wehinger
• Cry Flute, (Pao 1995) As Promised (Pao1992) Reggie Workman:
• Summit Conference (Postcards, 1994) Yosuke Yamashita:
 30th Anniversary ( Verve 2017) Delightful Contrasts, (Verve 2011) Triple Cats, (Verve 2008) Winds of the Ages
• (Verve 2006) Field Of Grooves (Verve 2005), Pacific Crossing (Verve  2004) • Ways Of Time (Verve 2003) • Canvas in Vigor
• (Polygram,2000) Dazzling Days (Polygram, 1994)
• Spider 
•(Verve 1996)  Dazzling Days (Verve 1993)
 Kurdish Dance (Antilles, 1992) 
Sakura Live
 ( Antilles 1991) •Plays Gershwin
• (Verve 1990)Sakura (Antilles 1989)•Crescendo (Kitty 1988)