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Eugene Bertram Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was an American jazz drummer, band leader and composer known for his energetic style and showmanship.[1][2] His drum solo on "Sing, Sing, Sing" (1937) elevated the role of the drummer from an accompanying line to an important solo voice in the band.

In collaboration with the Slingerland drum and Zildjian cymbal manufacturers, he was a major force in defining the standard band drummer's kit. Krupa is considered "the founding father of the modern drumset" by Modern Drummer magazine.[3]

Early life

The youngest of Anna (née Oslowski) and Bartłomiej Krupa's nine children, Gene Krupa was born in Chicago. Bartłomiej was an immigrant from Poland born in the village of Łęki-Górne, Podkarpackie in Southeastern Poland. Anna was born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania and was also of Polish descent. His parents were Roman Catholics who groomed him for the priesthood. He spent his grammar school days at parochial schools. He attended the James H. Bowen High School on Chicago's southeast side. After graduation he attended Saint Joseph's College for a year but decided the priesthood was not his vocation.

Krupa studied with Sanford A. Moeller, and began playing drums professionally in the mid-1920s with bands in Wisconsin. In 1927 he was hired by MCA to become a member of Thelma Terry and Her Playboys, the first notable American jazz

Eugene Bertram Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was an American jazz drummer, band leader and composer known for his energetic style and showmanship.[1][2] His drum solo on "Sing, Sing, Sing" (1937) elevated the role of the drummer from an accompanying line to an important solo voice in the band.

In collaboration with the Slingerland drum and Zildjian cymbal manufacturers, he was a major force in defining the standard band drummer's kit. Krupa is considered "the founding father of the modern drumset" by Modern Drummer magazine.[3]