WCSU

Artist Profiles - Drummer "Stix" Hooper

Nesbert "Stix" Hooper is a drummer, best known as a founding member of the seminal jazz band, The Crusaders. He is currently the only surviving founder of the group. However, he retired from the Crusaders in the early 2000s.

Born on August 15, 1938 in Houston, Texas, Stix developed an interest in music, drums and percussion at a very early age. Starting in junior high, Stix began devoting much of his time to the study of all aspects of music including composition and song writing. Stix eventually formed a band called the Swingsters, later on the Modern Jazz Sextet. While at Texas Southern University, Stix received continual coaching from members of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and other local professional musicians. He also studied music at California State University, Los Angeles. During this time the Jazz Crusaders were formed eventually becoming the Crusaders, a world-renowned entity.

Stix has performed, collaborated, composed with and produced for a wide range of music greats, including B.B. King, Grant Green, Grover Washington, Jr., Quincy Jones, Marvin Gaye, Nancy Wilson and many more. Stix is credited with creating an original style of drumming that has been incorporated in Jazz as well as other musical genres, called “Jazz Funk.”

In addition, Stix Hooper has contributed much to the world of music and to the Jazz Community through his work with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, where he served as the National Vice Chairman (the first African American to do so), having previously served three terms as President of the Los Angeles Chapter of NARAS (the first ever three term President, and only the second African American President of that chapter).

Among the numerous acknowledgements and accolades Stix has garnered are 12 Grammy nominations, No. 1 awards from various music media, named one of the top drummers/musicians by Downbeat, Playboy Magazine and other publications, received an invitation to the White House, keys to major US cities and several international honors.