Billy Higgins

For other people named Billy Higgins, see Billy Higgins (disambiguation).
Billy Higgins

Billy Higgins in 1978.
Background information
Born (1936-10-11)October 11, 1936
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Origin Los Angeles, California
Died May 3, 2001(2001-05-03) (aged 64)
Inglewood, California
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Drummer, educator
Instruments drums
Associated acts Ornette Coleman, Cedar Walton, Charles Lloyd

Billy Higgins (October 11, 1936 – May 3, 2001) was an American jazz drummer. He played mainly free jazz and hard bop.[1]


Higgins was born in Los Angeles.[2] Higgins played on Ornette Coleman's first records, beginning in 1958. He then freelanced extensively with hard bop and other post-bop players, including Donald Byrd, Dexter Gordon, Grant Green, Joe Henderson, Paul Horn, Milt Jackson, Jackie McLean, Pat Metheny, Hank Mobley, Thelonious Monk, Lee Morgan, David Murray, Art Pepper, Sonny Rollins, Mal Waldron, and Cedar Walton. He was one of the house drummers for Blue Note Records and played on dozens of Blue Note albums of the 1960s.

On a whole, he played on over 700 recordings, including recordings of rock and funk. He appeared as a jazz drummer in the 2001 movie Southlander.

In 1989, Higgins cofounded a cultural center, The World Stage, in Los Angeles to encourage and promote younger jazz musicians. The center provides workshops in performance and writing, as well as concerts and recordings. Higgins also taught in the jazz studies program at the University of California, Los Angeles.[3]

He was divorced from wife Mauricina Altier Higgins and had three sons, William, Joseph, and David, as well as a stepson Jody. His youngest son Benjamin resides in Los Angeles. He also had two daughters, Rickie Wade and Heidi. He died of kidney and liver failure on May 3, 2001 at a hospital in Inglewood, California.[3]


As leader

As a sideman

With Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt

With Robert Stewart (saxophonist)

With Chris Anderson

With Gary Bartz

With Paul Bley

With Sandy Bull

With Jaki Byard

With Donald Byrd

With Joe Castro

With Don Cherry

With Sonny Clark

With George Coleman

With Ornette Coleman

With John Coltrane

With Bill Cosby

With Stanley Cowell

With Ray Drummond

With Teddy Edwards

With Booker Ervin

With Art Farmer

With Curtis Fuller

With Stan Getz

With Dexter Gordon

With Grant Green

With Charlie Haden

With Slide Hampton

With Herbie Hancock

With Barry Harris

With Eddie Harris

With Jimmy Heath

With Joe Henderson

With Andrew Hill

With Richard "Groove" Holmes

With Paul Horn

With Freddie Hubbard

With Bobby Hutcherson

With J. J. Johnson

With Hank Jones and Dave Holland

With Sam Jones

With Clifford Jordan

With Fred Katz

With Steve Lacy

With Charles Lloyd

With Pat Martino

With Jackie McLean

With Charles McPherson

With Pat Metheny

With Blue Mitchell

With Red Mitchell

With Hank Mobley

With Thelonious Monk

With Lee Morgan

With Bheki Mseleku

With David Murray

With Horace Parlan

With Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen

With Art Pepper

With Dave Pike

With Jimmy Raney

With Sonny Red

With Freddie Redd

With Joshua Redman

With Sonny Rollins

With Charlie Rouse

With Pharoah Sanders

With John Scofield

With Shirley Scott

With Archie Shepp

With Sonny Simmons

With Sonny Stitt

With Idrees Sulieman

With Sun Ra

With Cecil Taylor

With Bobby Timmons

With Mal Waldron

With Cedar Walton

With Don Wilkerson

With David Williams

With Jack Wilson


  1. Allmusic
  2. James Nadal (ed.). "Billy Higgins". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  3. 1 2 Ratliff, Ben (2001-05-04). "Billy Higgins, 64, Jazz Drummer With Melodic and Subtle Swing". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-16.

External links

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