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Primary Instrument: Drums

Born: July 14, 1929 | Died: February 23, 1996

Alan Dawson was a respected jazz drummer and widely influential percussion teacher based in Boston. He was born in Marietta, Pennsylvania and raised in Roxbury, MA. Serving in the Army for Korean War duty, Dawson played with the Army Dance Band while stationed at Fort Dix from 1951-1953. During his tenure, Alan explored the post-bop era by performing with pianist Sabby Lewis. After being released from the Army, Alan toured Europe with Lionel Hampton.

Dawson is best remembered as an early teacher of Tony Williams. Other former students include: Terri Lyne Carrington, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Smith, Kenwood Dennard, Gerry Hemingway, Jeff Sipe and many others. He began teaching at Berklee College of Music in 1957. Dawson suffered a ruptured disc in 1975 which led to him halting his touring schedule, to leave Berklee and limit his teaching to his home in Lexington, MA....
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