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About The Ray Appleton Sextet

b. 1941, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Starting out as a bass drum player in his school marching band when he was aged eight, Appleton was soon an accomplished jazz drummer. When he was 14, he played professionally with Wes Montgomery. Five years later, he went to New York to play in a bop group led by Kenny Dorham. During the 60s, he toured with John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard and Pat Martino. During these engagements, he confirmed to the public the value placed upon him by fellow musicians and to a still wider audience when he recorded with these artists, appearing on Coltrane’s Infinity and on Hubbard’s Backlash. During this same decade he also recorded with Brother Jack McDuff (Do It Now!), and Jimmy Witherspoon (The Blues Is Now). During the next two decades, Appleton often lived and performed outside his homeland, mostly in Europe. There, he worked with other American expatriates, including Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin and Slide Hampton. This period enhanced his international reputation, and he made an impact at international jazz festivals and he also worked with Dizzy Gillespie. Appleton’s American engagements during this same period included a six-year residency at the Marc Plaza Hotel in Milwaukee, where he worked with Buddy Montgomery, and several appearances at prestigious jazz festivals. From the early 90s onwards, Appleton became a sought-after figure on the New York scene, working with Pharoah Sanders, Marlena Shaw, John Hicks, Frank Morgan, ‘Big’ John Patton, and David Hazeltine. In 2000, Appleton received his home town’s Lifetime Achievement Recognition Award, and in the same year appeared at the Indianapolis Jazz Festival. In the early months of 2001 he led an all-star Remembering Wes Montgomery Quintet on a west coast tour.

    Indianapolis, IN
  • BORN

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