Primary Instrument: Drums
Multi-Grammy Award Winning drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and a Juilliard graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree with concentration in Jazz Studies. He has performed with world-class musicians including Patti Austin, Terence Blanchard, Benny Golson, Russell Malone, Wynton Marsalis, Mulgrew Miller, Maceo Parker, Nicholas Payton and Dianne Reeves to name a few.
In 2010 Ulysses received his first Grammy Award for his performance on Kurt Elling's Dedicated To You,and in 2012 his second Grammy Award for Christian McBride's Big Band Album The Good Feeling. Currently, Ulysses is touring as the drummer for Grammy Winning Artists Christian McBride,Nnenna Freelon, and Ted Nash.
His 2009 debut recording It's Time For U featured several original compositions and arrangements. Critics shared It's Time For U not only elicits Owens talent to keep the music mobile and ramp up the songs dynamics with well-positioned solos, but the use of vocals on some of the tracks deepens the album's luster. His second album, Unanimous, released in 2012 on European jazz label Criss Cross features Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Jaleel Shaw, Mike Dease and Christian Sands. Unanimous has been hailed by critics and audiences alike as ...the best jazz album of 2012 selling out performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center Dizzy's Club Coca Cola and the Exodus to Jazz Series in Rochester, NY.
Education and community services are also staples of Ulysses career. He is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of Don't Miss A Beat, his family's non-profit organization. Don't Miss A Beat's core mission is to blend music and art with focus on academic achievement, civic engagement and to inspire and empower inner city students to strive for their dreams. In addition to his work as a performer, composer and educator, Ulysses is establishing himself as a producer working with artists Matthew Rybicki, Mike Cottone, and Jeremiah Abiah. His work on these recordings has resulted in rave reviews. This year Ulysses will produce five emerging vocalists who's albums are to be released and distributed nationally in the spring of 2013.
Ulysses Owens Jr. continues to further his vision of healing the world with the gift of music, inspiration and education.