Basic Background Info

Birth: April 29, 1930, Hartford, Connecticut
Location: Los Angeles
Band: Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, Natalie Cole
Genres: Rock, Jazz, Opera, Symphonic
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician, Instructor, Author


Joe Porcaro, born in 1930 in Hartford, Connecticut, is one of the world’s most esteemed recording drummers and educators. Joe Porcaro's recording experience is full of variety, ranging from pop and rock to opera and symphony.

Joe Porcaro's recording credits include Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Freddie Hubbard, Don Ellis, Frank Sinatra, Roberto Carlos, Sarah Vaughn, Natalie Cole, Mike Mainieri, The Monkees, Gladys Knight, and Madonna. His performances on film scores include work with James Newton Howard, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Danny Elfman, and his son, Steve Porcaro.

More than just a gifted performer, Joe Porcaro is an astute educator. Joseph Porcaro co-founded the Los Angeles College of Music (formerly the Los Angeles Music Academy.) Joseph Porcaro now serves as a Department Chair and teaches classes and workshops. Joseph Porcaro believes students should get a good feel for jazz when they are learning to play because the "jazz feel…[is] used in funk and rock and all kinds of modern playing."

Joe Porcaro personally authored instructional books and recorded instructional videos. He also developed a signature line of drum sticks for Vic Firth, as well as his very own line of equipment covers.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1965 Great Moments in Jazz [Atlantic] Various Artists
1967 Sugar Nancy Sinatra
1968 Shock Treatment Don Ellis
1969 Instant Replay The Monkees
1970 A Bad Donato Donato
1971 Age of Steam Gerry Mulligan
1971 American Dream Emitt Rhodes
1971 Desiderata Les Crane
1971 Electronic Progress Harvey Mandel
1973 Love Has Got Me Wendy Waldman
1974 150 MPH Louis Bellson
1974 New Improved Severin Browne
1975 Home Plate Bonnie Raitt
1975 Mirrors Peggy Lee
1975 Touch John Klemmer
1976 Barefoot Ballet John Klemmer
1976 Deardorff & Joseph Deardorff & Joseph
1976 Sudan Village Seals & Crofts
1977 Making a Good Thing Better Olivia Newton-John
1978 Children of the World Stan Getz
1979 Raw Silk Randy Crawford
1980 Big Mouth Milt Jackson
1981 Rit Lee Ritenour
1982 Ride Like the Wind Freddie Hubbard
1982 Toto IV Toto
1985 Color Purple Original Soundtrack
1985 James Newton Howard and Friends James Newton Howard
1986 Fahrenheit Toto
1987 Freedom at Midnight David Benoit
1989 Let It Go Clair Marlo
1990 Atlantic Jazz: 12 Vol. Box Set Various Artists
1990 Atlantic Jazz: Singers Various Artists
1990 Bonnie Raitt Collection Bonnie Raitt
1991 Raymone Carter Raymone Carter
1992 Brasileiro Sergio Mendes
1992 Girl Singer Rosemary Clooney
1992 Grand Canyon Original Soundtrack
1992 Regarding the Human Condition Patsy Moore
1992 VOSS Records Jazz Series Sampler Various Artists
1993 Devotion Warren Hill
1993 Duets Frank Sinatra
1993 Gypsy Original Television Soundtrack
1993 Still on the Road Rosemary Clooney
1993 When My Heart Finds Christmas Harry Connick, Jr.
1993 Windows Roger Kellaway
1994 Dreams in Motion Felix Cavaliere
1994 Masterpieces The Singers Unlimited
1994 Paid Vacation Richard Marx
1995 Christmas Album David Foster's the Christmas Album
1995 Demi-Centennial Rosemary Clooney
1995 Moods and Grooves Steven Kowalczyk
1995 Waterworld Original Soundtrack
1996 Dedicated to Nelson Rosemary Clooney
1996 Heroes of Country Music, Vol. 5: Legends of Country Rock Various Artists
1996 Love Is the Only Goal: The Best of Wendy Waldman Wendy Waldman
1996 Luntana Emil Richards
1996 Mosaic: The Best of John Klemmer John Klemmer
1996 Organic Joe Cocker
1996 Sheffield Jazz Experience Various Artists
1996 Songs of West Side Story Various Artists
1997 Conspiracy Theory Original Soundtrack
1997 Definitive Collection Eric Carmen
1997 Mothers & Daughters Rosemary Clooney
1997 My Time: The Anthology (1969-1997) Boz Scaggs
1997 Tribute to Jeff Porcaro David Garfield & Friends
1998 Concord Jazz Heritage Series Rosemary Clooney
1998 Greatest Science Fiction Hits, Vol. 4 Neil Norman
1998 Living Out Loud Original Soundtrack
1998 Magic Voices Singers Unlimited
1999 California Dreamin': Jazz Exotica Various Artists
2000 Complete Pacific Jazz Recordings of Gerald Wilson & His Orchestra Gerald Wilson
2000 Gold Collection Freddie Hubbard
2000 In the Studio and in Concert Mel TormÈ & Marty Paich Dektette
2000 Smooth Jazz: The Originals, Vol. 1 Various Artists
2002 Emperor's Club James Newton Howard
2002 Inferno!: 150 MPH/Dynamite Louis Bellson
2002 Out of This World Rosemary Clooney
2002 Better Off Back Then Joe Porcaro
2002 Signs James Newton Howard
2002 XXX [Original Score] Randy Edelman
2003 Best of the Concord Years Rosemary Clooney
2003 Dreamcatcher [Original Score] James Newton Howard
2003 Essential Toto Toto
2003 Legacy 1961-2002 Glen Campbell
2003 Live at the Greek Theatre [Bonus CD] Vikki Carr
2003 Love Songs Toto
2003 Peter Pan [2003 Original Score] James Newton Howard
2003 Sci-Fi in Hi-Fi Neil Norman
2004 Collection: Slow Dancer/Silk Degrees/Down Two Then Left Boz Scaggs
2004 Dana Owens Album Queen Latifah
2004 Hidalgo James Newton Howard
2004 Mallet Jazz Tom Collier
2004 One from the Heart [Bonus Tracks] Tom Waits/Crystal Gayle
2005 Archives, Vol. 4 Steve Vai
2005 Ballad Essentials Rosemary Clooney
2005 Christmas Songs Diana Krall/Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
2005 Come on Get Happy! The Very Best of the Partridge Family The Partridge Family
2005 Duets/Duets II: 90th Birthday Limited Collector's Edition Frank Sinatra
2005 Miss Randy Crawford/Raw Silk Randy Crawford
2005 Stripes Elmer Bernstein
2005 Tribute to Jeff Revisited David Garfield
2006 Before Me Gladys Knight
2006 Collectables Classics Vikki Carr
2006 Murph the Surf Original Soundtrack
2006 Pure Fire: A Gilles Peterson Impulse! Collection Various Artists
2007 Enforcer [1976 Soundtrack] Fielding, Jerry
2007 Essential Lou Rawls Lou Rawls
2007 Fim Super Sounds!, Vol. 3 Various Artists
2007 Silk Degrees [Bonus Tracks] Boz Scaggs
2007 World's Best Dad [2007] Various Artists
2007 Toto IV/The Seventh One Toto
2007 Eric Carmen/Boats Against the Current/Change of Heart Eric Carmen
2008 Greatest Hits [Steel Box Collection] Toto
2008 Christmas Hits and Duos Diana Krall
2009 The Emitt Rhodes Recordings 1969-1973 Emitt Rhodes
2009 Only the Best of Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
2010 The Best of Vicki Carr Vicki Carr
2011 Original Album Series Bonnie Raitt
2012 The Complete Columbia Albums Collection Stan Getz
2012 The Complete Columbia Album Collection Johnny Cash
2012 Stones/Journey to Bliss Emil Richards
2013 Now & Then: Slipstream + Opus Bonnie Raitt
2014 Scrooged [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] Danny Elfman
2014 Donna: The CD Collection Donna Summer


  • Joe’s three sons, Steve, Mike, and Jeff, created the band Toto. Joe performed on their hit album, Toto IV.
  • Joe also has a daughter, Joleen.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Cymbals: Zildjian
Hardware: Gibralter
Heads: Aquarian
Sticks: Vic Firth

Pics & Clips