As a young prodigy, Terri Lyne Carrington was all of 7 when she first showcased her skills behind a drum kit belonging to her grandfather—Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson were among her first onstage companions. At 11, she won a full scholarship to study at Berklee in Boston. At 18, the musician left for New York and was soon playing with the likes of Stan Getz, Pharoah Sanders and David Sanborn. In 1989 Carrington hit Los Angeles, where she was in-house drummer for the Arsenio Hall Show. That same year, she launched a debut album as a bandleader, Real Life Story. Since the 1990s, the percussionist has split her career between ambitious solo projects and accompanying high-calibre jazzmen.