Isaia Band - 1970's' Richmond Jazz Quartet Kip Kip and CF Martin

  Kip's Bio

Kip Williams started playing drums when he was 9 years old. He started playing snare drum as most kids did during that time before going to a full trapset. Kip was influenced by his mothers choice of music on the turntable with such artist as Ray Charles, The Ventures and Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. Quite a diverse selection of music. This explains Kip's knack for playing so many different styles of music today.

Growing up during The Beatles era you would think that he would be influenced by such artists. Surely he was influenced by groups of this caliber but Kip was intrigued by the beat of a different drummer. Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Sandy Nelson, James Brown, The Rascals, Tom Jones and whatever else that captured the ear of a young improvisational kid on a mission to find the groove. By the age of 14 he was already being asked to join local rock bands who wanted him to be a part of the Rock n' Roll Revolution. At age 16 he was playing jazz and R&B in after hour clubs around the Richmond area. Kip played steadily up until he was 21 at which time he stopped playing live and started woodshedding and studying seriously the music that reached out to him. Jazz!

Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillispie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and all the other normal culprits of the jazz scene that had taken so many by storm. The one thing that reached out to him the most was the way these drummers that were backing these guys had the freedom to play whatever they felt. Kenny Clark, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Art Balkey, Philly Joe Jones, PaPa Jones, Joe Morello and all the other influential cats. Then the fusion era took hold with drummers Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd and later Jeff Porcaro, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl and the list keeps growing everyday. In 1977 Kip heard about local saxman Les Owen who wanted to start a jazz quarter. He immediately picked up the phone and told Les that “I'm the guy you're looking for”. Joined by Anthony Dowd and later bassist Jocko MacNelly the Richmond Jazz Quarter was born. The Richmond Jazz Quartet went on to play vigorously for several years playing up and down the eastcoast setting records that were hard to break. At on time during the slow months of February and March the Richmond Jazz Quarter played 43 nights in a row. Try playing straight ahead and bebop today and you will not be so lucky.

Kip also had a knack for making things happen. In 1990, after working throughout the music retail business in years previous he and his wife (Gigi) decided to open the Richmond Music Center. With 13 guitars and 5 drumsets (one being Kip's personal set) the Richmond Music Center grew into one of the premier music stores in the U.S. After growing the Richmond Music Center from 1250 sq. ft. store to a 12,000 sq. ft. music mecca with over 750 students weekly, Kip decided to return to his original passion for playing the drums fulltime. In June 2007 Kip and Gigi officially retired from music retail and sold the business. The Richmond Music Center continues today in a time honored tradition that will continue for many years to come.

Please check out Kip's schedule and come say hello to one of the areas premier drummers back on the scene. Kip's passion for drumming and the drumming community truly makes him a “Drum Brother”.