Steve Gadd was born on 9 April 1945 in Rochester, New York. He began playing drums at three and at eleven sat in with Dizzy Gillespie. He attended the Manhattan School of Music before transferring to Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. Simultaneously, he played in clubs at night with Chick Corea, Chuck Mangione, Joe Romano and Frank Pullara. After college, Steve was drafted and spent three years in the U.S. Army Band.
In 1972, he moved to New York City when he was part of trio with Tony Levin and Mike Holms. The trio didn’t pan out, but Steve soon established himself one of the most in-demand session players in the city. Since then, he has recorded with Aretha Franklin, Steve Wonder, Chick Corea, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand, George Benson, Steely Dan, Quincy Jones, Carly Simon, Joe Cocker, James Brown, Michel Petrucciani, and numerous others. In 2003, Steve received the once-in-a-lifetime American Drummers Achievement Award from the Avedis Zildjian Company.
Steve has also released three solo albums. In the late 1990s, he was occasionally spotted as the fill-in drummer for the Saturday Night Live house band (NBC-TV, US).
Steve’s association with Eric Clapton began in 1976 when they both appeared on the track "Worrier" for Joe Cocker's album Stingray. In 1992, they both appeared on “It’s Probably Me” for the Lethal Weapon 3 Soundtrack in 1992. Steve then worked on the soundtrack for the film Rush with Eric. He joined Eric’s touring band for the bulk of the blues tour and remained with the band until 1996. He then rejoined Eric’s band from September 1998 through the 2004 World Tour and again for the May 2009 and all 2010 concert dates. In 2011, Steve will again be out on the road with EC.
Steve also appeared with Eric on David Sanborn’s ABC-TV Show, After New Year’s Eve (broadcast 1 January 1999), at the Crossroads Benefit Concert in June 1999 and the 2004 and 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festivals, which have been released on DVD.
Steve’s drumming can be heard on the following Eric Clapton CDs: Pilgrim, Riding With The King, Reptile,One More Car, One More Rider and Me and Mr. Johnson, Sessions for Robert J. and Back Home. He can be seen in all of Eric’s live DVDs from 1994 through 2004.
Steve has also toured in recent years with James Taylor, with whom he first worked in the late 1970s / early 1980s.