Derrick McKenzie

Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple Drums with Derrick McKenzie


Derrick McKenzie

Derrick started drumming in the 1960s, at the age of six, banging furiously on the kitchen floor with two of his mum's coat hangers, to a beat on the radio. Even at this early age Derrick knew that drumming was the one thing he really wanted to do.

At the age of ten, Derrick was inspired by a friend playing in a reggae band. This encouraged him to go out and play his own local gigs. Another friend decided to lend him a drum kit, until Derrick persuaded his mum that he should start hiring one.

Finally the day arrived when Derrick was able to buy his very first drum kit. Derrick loved it! He would practise hours on end - well around four hours a day until his mum came home from work and forced him to stop!

In the late 1980s Derrick joined a jazz funk outfit called Tranzeyance. They did gigs and rehearsed every Tuesday without fail in Shoreditch, East London.

Eventually he got a call from a friend whom he had played some gigs with. The band was Urban Species, a rap outfit from North London. All the guys and one lady were fantastic, especially live. They toured Europe.

In 1993 Derrick met a friend of a friend who was a top producer and two days later rang Derrick to ask if he'd like to audition for a band called Jamiroquai. Derrick hadn't even heard of them at the time! So he did his two long auditions... and the rest lovely people, is history.

After 25 million albums sold and an era-defying 19 years of band history, Jamiroquai have left their mark in music history.

Part of the band´s success are the golden funky grooves, rock solid timing, natural feel and explosive fills of Derrick McKenzie.

“Keeping consistency with the music has been my main goal, to keep the connection there with Jay Kay´s voice and my drumming” quotes Derrick." Goal well accomplished.

Derrick plays Yamaha Maple Absolute and Live Custom Drums.

“My current set up is still Yamaha Absolute Drums. I am finding I am using 22” kick, 10 or 12 up top and then 16 or 18 floor tom for my recording stuff with a load of cymbals”