Who is Jimmy Fallon’s drummer?

Photo from phillyvoice.com

Jimmy Fallon’s aka Roots drummer is Questlove. Questlove is a drummer from Philadelphia. His father was a singer Lee Andrews from the group Lee Andrews and the Hearts, a 50s doo-wop group. Questlove grandfather also sang in a gospel group Dixie Hummingbirds. His mother was also part of the soul group Congress Alley.

With a background like this, it was impossible for Questlove not to be musical.

His parents toured a lot and never wanted to leave Questlove at home, so they took him everywhere they would go. He spent his childhood in backstages.

He began drumming at the age of 7 and became a musical director by the age of 13.

What is Questlove’s real name?

His real name is Ahmir Khalim Thompson, born on January 20th, 1971.

What did Questlove do in Hamilton?

He is one of the music producers of this Broadway show.

Early career

Photo from time.com

He found a band called the Square Roots in high school that will later become ‘the Roots“. In high school, he was surrounded with guys like Tariq Trotter, Boyz II, Christian McBride, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joes DeFrancesco and others.

After graduating, he took jazz and composition classes at the Settlement Music School.

Believe it or not, Questlove started performing on the street, and the more accurate it was the South Street in Philadelphia. This street is one of Philadelphia’s main tourist attractions, with bars, eaters, shops.

His friend Tariq Trotter joined him rhyming over his beats while Jay Lonick would play the percussion.

The Roots drummer developed here “Questions and Answer” or “Call and Response” technique in music circles known as musical conversations between bandmates, but it can be easily used across one single instrument.

Questlove later started incorporating this technique into his playing.

He is probably most famous for his “feel” that incorporates “sloppy” grooves and drag beats.

The Roots

Photo from hip-hop-music.fandom.com

Roots were formed in 1993, and they released 3 albums in 3 years.

  • Organix
  • Do you want more?
  • Illadelph Halflife

The Roots have been one of the most successful hip-hop groups in recent history, with a string of hit records stretching back to their 1995 debut album. In 1999 they earned themselves Grammys for “You Got Me” – featuring Erykah Badu.

The song helped them reach a whole new audience, which is why it’s so successful to this day. The album that followed “Things fall apart” was a major success that ended up selling platinum.

The 2004 album, The Tipping Point, had a more mainstream sound, according to Interscope records. It sold over 400 thousand copies.

The 2002 album Phrenology was a critically acclaimed release that went gold.

On March 2nd, 2009, Questlove and The Roots began their run as a house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. 

Other projects

The list of artists with whom Questlove cooperated is endless. It all started with D’Angelo. Questlove was executive producer for three of his albums. After him, he worked on two of Common‘s albums.

He worked again with Erykah Badu on several albums, some as a drummer and on some as a producer.

He played the drums on the famous album “Stripped” by Christina Aguilera. In 2003 he played the drums on the song “Clarity” by John Mayer.

He arranged drums for Joss Stone on the song “Fell in Love with a Girl”, which was a cover of White Stripes.

Questlove was a drummer and a musical director for Jay Z for his live band. Jay Z “stole” him from a Broadway show “Fela!”. Later he worked with Will Smith on some of his projects.

In 2010 he worked with Duffy on her second album and had a plan to work with Amy Winehouse, but the cooperation never happened.

He has been the musical director for both the 2020 and 2021 Academy Awards ceremonies.

Film

He bravely stepped into the world of film with “Summer of Soul”, a film about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, featuring performances by Stevie Wonder and many other top Soul, Jazz and Gospel artists. Summer of Soul won both Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for Documentary and Audience Award at the 2021 Sundance Film Fest.

Writing

He started with a foreword for the book Check the Technique and memoir Mo’ Meta Blues: The world according to Questlove.

His second book was Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation.

In 2016 he published his third book called Something To Food About: Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs.

He continues to write, and in 2018 he released the book Creative Quest. His latest book was released in October of 2021. It is called Music is History and explores popular music in American history, focusing on race, gender, and politics how he sees it.

What is Questlove supreme?

In 2016 he launched a radio show called Questlove Supreme. It is a podcast in the form of interviews, culture, music, and humor.

He featured many interesting guests like Solange, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, and others.

Episodes are released every Wednesday on iHeartMedia.

What drums does Questlove play?

Photo from ludwig-drums.com

The Roots drummer helped Ludwig design his signature series called “Breakbeats series”. The series is built for street and club musicians mainly, it is small and compact, and it can easily fit in a cab.

Series is made out of hardwood or dicot trees. Although the best and the most expensive series are usually made of maple, this is not the case with this series.

Although it sounds very good and looks great in three different finishes, Black, White and Red sparkle, it is not built to be “the expensive studio kit.”

The focus was on building a portable and packable kit ideal for drummers on the move.

With a price of $300 for a white and $400 for a red and black kit, this is a great entry series for all drummers.

What does Questlove have in his hair?

It is called the “Afro Comb” and has been worn for over 40 years as a statement of power and resistance.

When the wearer puts it on, they tell society that black hair should not be ashamed or regulated; instead, there’s something special about this texture that deserves to be highlighted with pride in the natural beauty!

The comb is a symbol of solidarity and defiance. Those whose hair grows outwards, not down, were able to find common ground in this style – it felt like they had “found their people.”