James E. “Jimmy” Wormworth III, born August 14, 1937 in Utica, New York, is a seasoned, veteran jazz drummer who trumpeter John Marshall (WDR Big Band) calls “a living part of jazz history.” At age 20 he toured Europe with his own quartet, then went to New York City on the invitation of arranger Torrie Zito and soon began touring the United States with Nellie Lutcher.
Along with Mal Waldron and Peck Morrison in the house rhythm section of the legendary Five Spot café in 1959, he worked with Art Farmer, Kenny Dorham, John Coltrane, Booker Little, Pepper Adams, Bobby Jaspar and many more. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he worked with Lou Donaldson, “Les Jazz Modes” (Charlie Rouse, Julius Watkins), Phineaus Newborn, Sahib Shihab, Babs Gonzalez and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.
In 1969, Jimmy Wormworth was invited by Barry Harris to perform with Coleman Hawkins at The Fillmore East for Mr. Hawkins' second-to-last performance before his death. He has also performed with Roy Eldridge, Ernestine Anderson and Helen Humes. He worked regularly with Al Haig from 1969 until 1982 as well as with J. R. Monterose, Charles Davis, Lonnie Hillyer, Charles McPherson, Barry Harris and Dizzy Reece. In addition, he performed with baritone-saxophone legend Cecil Payne in 2003.
His extensive discography includes seminal recordings with Charlie Rouse and Julius Watkins, Lou Donaldson, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Jon Hendricks, Al Haig, J