Chester Thompson is a renowned drummer/percussionist, highly regarded for his ability to move seamlessly between multiple genres. Thompson’s known best for his work with Genesis and Phil Collins, with whom he shared the worldwide stage, as well as time in the studio, for over 30 years. Other notable legends Chester performed or recorded with include Frank Zappa, Weather Report, John Fogerty, Santana, Michael McDonald, Freddie Hubbard, Ahmad Jamal, Kirk Whalum, Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’. He had the privilege recently of recording on the 2018 Grammy Award winning CD called TajMo.
In 2015, The Chester Thompson Trio released their second album, Simpler Times, which rose to #4 on the JazzWeek Charts. Their first CD, Approved (2013), made a memorable first impression rising to #6 on the JazzWeek Charts. It exemplifies Thompson’s creative direction as bandleader and prompted a successful European tour. The originally trio formed after being hired as the rhythm section for the International Trombone Festival. They performed every Monday for a year at the Commodore Lounge near Vanderbilt in preparation for their first album.
Chester just recorded his latest album, Steppin’, at Sweetwater Music as part of their Recording Workshop Series. It was released on May 1, 2019. The album features Alphonso Johnson on bass, Joe Davidian on piano and keyboards, Rod McGaha on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Tony Carpenter on percussion.
Over the past 20 years when Chester was not performing live, doing sessions, clinics, or writing, he spent his time teaching percussion lessons in the Greater Nashville Area. In addition, from 1998-2018 he served as an Adjunct Professor at the esteemed Belmont University in Nashville, TN teaching drum set.
He is a well-regarded drum and percussion clinician and can be found regularly teaching classes at the Nashville Jazz Workshop. In 2008, Thompson was honored with the Sabian Lifetime Achievement Award at the 32nd Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC). This award recognizes the contributions of the most highly regarded leaders in percussion education.
Chester Thompson has done it all. Thompson has surpassed the boundaries of musical genres. His performance and recording experiences have influenced over three decades of music and musicians. Born and raised in Baltimore, Chester started playing in local nightclubs at age 13. Between tours, Thompson’s adventures brought him to live in cities including Los Angeles, London, and his current home Nashville. Chester Thompson currently endorses DW Drums and Sabian Cymbals.