The Checkout: Drummer Tyshawn Sorey Reflects on His Spectrum of Imagination

May 12, 2017

Tyshawn Sorey is more than one of the most highly-recruited drummers among the jazz intelligentsia (like pianist Vijay Iyer, with whom he plays through Sunday at the Village Vanguard). On this podcast episode of The Checkout, the multi-instrumentalist, composer and Newark native opens up about his unusual past, his early influences and his most ambitious recording to date, The Inner Spectrum of Variables.


When Sorey was growing up in inner-city Newark, he knew he was different from the other kids. He would lug an old-fashioned cassette recorder and headset onboard the big yellow bus heading to public school. His peers would eye him incredulously; even the bus driver openly ridiculed him for bringing such an awkward apparatus onboard. Only his closest family recognized his prodigal talent: He was a child obsessed with the deep cuts of Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey pounding through his earphones. Today, Sorey's talent is no longer hidden, far from a mystery. 

Tyshawn Sorey performs with the Vijay Iyer trio at the Village Vanguard Thursday through Sunday.

Production Assistance by Stevan Smith and Sarah Geledi