A veteran drummer hailed for his facility with styles from be-bop to jazz-rock, Al Foster has enjoyed a career stretching over 5 decades, building an immense and enviable reputation. Born Aloysus Foster in 1943, he grew up in Harlem, venturing into local clubs to discover the great jazz names of the era, including Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Dave Brubeck. He first broke into the music milieu in 1964, joining the group Blue Mitchell for the famed release The Thing to Do on Blue Note. He quickly made a name for himself on the New York scene, playing frequently. Noted by Miles Davis for his acute sense of groove, he joined the master trumpeter’s band in 1972, replacing Jack DeJohnette, for what would become a 13-year collaboration producing a number of albums. Admired by his peers, the charismatic drummer has recorded and played with a who’s-who including Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Ron Carter and Bobby Hutcherson over the years, while also leaving his mark as a bandleader and composer, with a debut album under his own name, Mixed Roots,in 1978. In 1995, he founded the Al Foster Quartet, touring Europe and releasing live album Love, Peace and Jazz, acclaimed by Downbeat. In 1999, he joined the aptly named ScoLoHoFo with John Scofield, Joe Lovano and Dave Holland. A frequent visitor to the Festival alongside the likes of Herbie Hancock, Richard Galliano, Miles Davis and Charlie Haden, Foster continues to tour with his quartet and, most recently, with the group formation Heads of State alongside Buster Williams, Garry Bartz and Larry Willis.