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If you want to be a musician, September 23 was a good day to be born. Musicians with birthdays on this day include Bruce Springsteen (1949), Ray Charles (1930), Ani DiFranco (born 1970), and John Coltrane (1926).

In honor of these birthdays, we’ve put together a roundup of some of these performers’ longtime or formative drummers.

Max Weinberg

As the drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Max Weinberg has performed for millions (and millions more as the bandleader on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”). Called “the rhythmic backbone of the E Street Band,” by The New York Times, Weinberg has left an indelible mark on the drumming world.

“Max found a place where Bernard Purdie, Buddy Rich, and Keith Moon intersected, and he made it his own,” Springsteen said during his 1999 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame acceptance speech. “I ask, and he delivers for me night after night.”

Terence Higgins

Since Ani DiFranco’s 2005 release Knuckle Down, her touring band and recordings have featured New Orleans native Terence Higgins on drums. He blends funk, fusion, jazz, hip-hop, rock, blues, pop, and Latin in his work, and has also performed with John Scofield, Swampgrease, and The Warren Haynes Band.


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Here he is performing with DiFranco at NPR’s Tiny Desk concert.

Milt Turner

Jazz drummer Milt Turner worked with Ray Charles from 1957 to 1960, on albums What I Say and The Genius Hits The Road. After Charles, Turner became a prominent LA drummer, working with folks like Phineas Newborn, Hank Crawford, and Teddy Edwards.

Turner’s soulful drumming and light grooves, as on “What I Say,” helped make the song a huge crossover hit.

Elvin Jones

John Coltrane’s drummer from 1960 to 1966, Elvin Jones’ swinging, polyrthymic style and pristine timekeeping had a demonstrable influence on the jazz saxophonist’s sound, and the two played many duet passages during their time together. Jones also worked with Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Thad Jones, Hank Jones, and Wayne Shorter.

“There is nothing new about timekeeping, it’s just that some people can keep better time than others,” Jones told Down Beat. “Some people are more sensitive to rhythmic pulses, and the more sensitive you are, the more you can utilize the subtleties of timekeeping.”

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