Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Shawn Pelton

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Instruments  Drums, percussion
Education  Jacobs School of Music
Role  Drummer
Name  Shawn Pelton

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Associated acts  Saturday Night Live Band, House of Diablo
Albums  Naked Movies, Tippin Point
Similar People  John M Cusimano, John Leventhal, David Kahne, Daryl Hall, Gregg Wattenberg

Music group  The Cringe (Since 2004)

Shawn pelton modern drummer 2010

Shawn Pelton is an American drummer and percussionist. He has recorded with a wide range of artists and has been a first call player since moving to New York in the late 1980s.


Shawn Pelton Drummerworld Shawn Pelton

Known for his great feel, deep soulful pocket and a high level of musicianship across a broad range of styles, Shawn has recorded with artists such as Sheryl Crow, Shawn Colvin, Natalie Merchant, Ingrid Michaelson, Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Pink, Shakira, Kelly Clarkson, Five For Fighting, Michelle Branch, Regina Spektor, Tears for Fears, Citizen Cope, Matisyahu, Jonatha Brooke, David Byrne, Edie Brickell, Marc Cohn, Richie Havens, Joan Osborne, Hall and Oates, Odetta, Pavarotti, Phillip Phillips, George Michael, Carly Simon, Dixie Chicks, Chris Botti and Buddy Guy, and has played on several Grammy winning albums for artists including Ray Charles, The Brecker Brothers, Shakira, Shawn Colvin, Les Paul and the Hank Williams tribute album with Bob Dylan.

Shawn Pelton Shawn Pelton

Such a broad discography shows a rare ability to be at home playing on a top ten track by Pink, recording with Jazz legend Abbey Lincoln or an icon like Bob Dylan. Shawn is also the longtime drummer in the house band for the NBC TV network's sketch comedy and music program Saturday Night Live.

Shawn Pelton Shawn Pelton live at the Regina Drum Festival YouTube

Shawn pelton modern drummer festival 2010

Early life

Shawn Pelton Drummerworld Shawn Pelton

Pelton was born in Kansas City, Missouri.

Shawn Pelton Drummerworld Shawn Pelton

"I grew up always banging on things," Pelton said describing his childhood. His first real musical instrument was a cello in 5th grade. But he "bailed as soon as possible to the drums," Pelton said. "I was running around doing gigs at 14, which was a great situation, to actually be in a band that young. The sooner you start making music with other people the better."

Musical education

Shawn Pelton Drummerworld Shawn Pelton

In 1985, Pelton earned a bachelor's degree and a Performer's Certificate after his studies at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, according to Drummerworld. While there, Pelton studied with Kenny Aronoff, who at the time was drummer for John Mellencamp, Drummerworld reported. Mellencamp lives just a short distance away from Bloomington. During summer break, Pelton sought out experts elsewhere. "I also had the privilege of hanging with Alan Dawson for a couple of summers," he told Edge. The Massachusetts-based Dawson, legendary in the jazz world, may best be known as an early teacher of Tony Williams—drummer for Miles Davis.

During his time as a student, Pelton taught for a brief period as well as conducted private drum lessons. One of his students was Pete Wilhoit, who would later become a member of Fiction Plane, the opening act for The Police on their 2007 reunion global tour.

Saturday Night Live

He joined the Saturday Night Live band in 1992, saying "It’s a pretty mellow gig...It’s really only 20 days out of the year."

Since 2007, Pelton has been regularly appearing as the drummer on Daryl Hall's internet concert series Live from Daryl's House.

Nicknamed "Cat Daddy"[2] by drum tech, Tim Soya.

Pelton also served periodically as the substitute drummer in the CBS Orchestra on Late Show with David Letterman during regular drummer Anton Fig's absences.

Pelton is also a founding member of the NYC-based band The Cringe.


Shawn Pelton Wikipedia