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Karriem Riggins

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Birth name  Karriem Riggins
Years active  1990s–present
Associated acts  J Dilla, Madlib
Instruments  Drums, Sampler
Genres  Jazz, Hip hop music
Occupation(s)  Musician
Education  Southfield High School
Origin  Detroit, Michigan
Name  Karriem Riggins

Karriem Riggins Jazz Columns The Gig In the Traditions By Nate
Role  Musician ·
Albums  The Detroit Experiment, Alone Together
Similar People  Madlib, J Dilla, James Poyser, Orrin Evans, Freddie Gibbs

Karriem riggins spotlight interview

Karriem Riggins is an American jazz drummer, hip hop producer, DJ, and occasional rapper. He is a former member of the Ray Brown Trio and Mulgrew Miller trio and currently appears with Diana Krall.


Karriem Riggins Karriem Riggins Dilla Tribute track Okayplayer

Karriem riggins spotlight performance 2 of 2


Karriem Riggins Karriem Riggins Walkin39 YouTube

Riggins was born in Detroit, Michigan. His father, Emmanuel Riggins, is also a musician, and Karriem would often play drums with him as a child. Riggins began producing hip hop in middle school and continued through high school. He studied music at Southfield High School and joined Betty Carter's band Jazz Ahead soon after, at 17. In 1994, Riggins moved to New York City and joined the Ray Brown Trio four years later. Riggins has also recorded and performed with Paul McCartney, Donald Byrd, Hank Jones, Milt Jackson, Oscar Peterson, Norah Jones, Cedar Walton, Roy Hargrove, Esperanza Spalding and Bobby Hutcherson.

Away from jazz, Riggins has done production work for hip hop artists including Slum Village, Erykah Badu, Common, J Dilla, The Roots, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Earl Sweatshirt, Phat Kat, Consequence, and Dwele. He has collaborated with the hip hop multi-instrumentalist Madlib, performing on his 2007 album Yesterdays Universe and in collaborations entitled Supreme Team and The Jahari Massamba Unit. and also produced a portion of the soundtrack for the 2007 film Smokin' Aces.

Riggins first met J Dilla, a fellow Detroit native, in 1996. The two were later reintroduced through Common and developed a close friendship through the end of Dilla’s life. Riggins frequently cited Dilla as a primary influence and being personally responsible for helping him overcome multiple creative ruts throughout his career. During the course of their friendship, Riggins produced and appeared on multiple J Dilla albums including Welcome 2 Detroit and The Shining.

Riggins released his debut full-length album, the instrumental double-LP Alone Together on Stones Throw Records on October 23, 2012. Prior to the full album release, Stones Throw released the two halves of the album separately on vinyl as well as digitally exclusively through their website. Alone was released on July 30th and Together followed on October 2nd. On February 24, 2017 Riggins released his second album on Stones Throw, Headnod Suite.

Along with Common and Robert Glasper, Riggins received the award for Outstanding Original Music & Lyrics at the 69th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards for the song “Letter to the Free” which appeared in Ava DuVernay's Netflix documentary “13th”.

He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.


  • Alone Together (2012)
  • Headnod Suite (2017)
  • Production Credits

    with Common
  • 1997: One Day It'll All Make Sense
  • 2000: Like Water For Chocolate
  • 2002: Electric Circus
  • 2003: Come Close (Remix) (Closer)
  • 2005: Be
  • 2007: Finding Forever
  • 2016: Black America Again
  • "Joy and Peace" (featuring Bilal)
  • "Home" (featuring Bilal)
  • "Black America Again" (featuring Stevie Wonder) (co-produced with Robert Glasper)
  • "Love Star" (featuring Marsha Ambrosius and PJ)
  • "On a Whim Interlude"
  • "Red Wine" (featuring Syd and Elena)
  • "Pyramids"
  • "Unfamiliar" (featuring PJ)
  • "A Bigger Picture Called Free" (featuring Syd and Bilal)
  • "The Day The Women Took Over" (featuring BJ The Chicago Kid)
  • "Rain" (featuring John Legend)
  • "Little Chicago Boy" (featuring Tasha Cobbs)
  • "Letter To The Free" (featuring Bilal) (co-produced with Robert Glasper)
  • with J Dilla
  • 2001: Welcome 2 Detroit
  • 2002: The Diary
  • 2006: The Shining
  • with others
  • 1994: Stephen Scott - Renaissance
  • 1995: Mulgrew Miller - Getting to Know You
  • 1996: Rodney Whitaker - Children of The Light
  • 1996: Eric Reed - Musicale
  • 1998: Rodney Whitaker - Hidden Kingdom
  • 1999: Junko Onishi - Fragile
  • 2000: The Ray Brown Trio - Some of My Best Friends Are... The Trumpet players
  • 2001: Daft Punk - Aerodynamic (Remix)
  • 2002: Mulgrew Miller - The Sequel
  • 2002: Slum Village - Dirty District
  • 2002: Slum Village - Trinity (Past, Present and Future)
  • 2002: The Roots - Phrenology
  • 2003: Dwele - Subject
  • 2003: The Ray Brown Trio - Walk On
  • 2003: Mulgrew Miller - Live at Yoshi's, Vol. 1
  • 2003: Mulgrew Miller - Live at Yoshi's, Vol. 2
  • 2003: The Detroit Experiment - The Detroit Experiment
  • 2005: Slum Village - Prequel to a Classic
  • 2006: Gilles Peterson - Back in Brazil
  • 2007: Consequence - Don't Quit Your Day Job!
  • 2008: Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
  • 2009: Diana Krall - Quiet Nights - Live in Madrid
  • 2010: Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)
  • 2010: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson - Timeless: Suite For Ma Dukes
  • 2011: M.E.D. - Classic
  • 2012: Madlib - Medicine Show: The Brick
  • 2012: Paul McCartney - Kisses on the Bottom
  • 2014: Theo Croker - Afro Physicist
  • 2015: Orrin Evans - The Evolution of Oneself
  • 2015: Diana Krall - Wallflower
  • 2015: Earl Sweatshirt - I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt
  • 2016: Elzhi - Lead Poison
  • 2016: Esperanza Spalding - Emily’s D+Evolution
  • 2016: Norah Jones - Day Breaks
  • 2016: Kanye West - Life of Pablo
  • 2016: Kaytranada - 99.9%
  • 2017: Nick Grant - Return of the Cool
  • 2017: Kandace Springs - TBA
  • References

    Karriem Riggins Wikipedia