John Gilmore

johnny gilmore

Soko's original drummer and principal drum performer during their years of playing live in the 1990s. A drummer blessed with world-class talent and resume, his rhythm section partnership with Houston Ross was the stuff of Charlottesville legend. Houston and "Johnny" (as he was affectionately known) not only powered Soko, but also TR3, The Basics (with LeRoi Moore), Alma Madre, Powerhouse Trio (with Jamal Millner), Corey Harris & the 5x5, Matthew Willner's Plutonium, and Matt Horn & Andy Rowland. His drumming on Soko's debut album, "In November Sunlight," was masterful and -- along with Houston's powerful and melodic bass playing -- was at the heart of that record. John loved the music and was a huge supporter of Sokoband's re-recording of the material and particularly enjoyed Nir Z's drumming contributions.

Having attended Berklee School of Music and studied with Tommy Campbell, John was a teacher as well as a virtuoso performer. He was drum instructor and musical inspiration to countless youth and adults, and a volunteer drummer at Bright Hope Baptist Church in Nelson County, Virginia. Johnny played unselfishly for numerous artists, including Fabulous Thunderbirds, John Medeski of Medeski, Martin and Wood, Tim Reynolds, David Fiuczynski of Screaming Headless Torsos, Meshell Ndegeocello, David Sanborn, The Chickenhead Blues Band, Christian Breeden, Morwenna Lasko & Jay Pun, George Melvin, Rolly Gray & Sunfire, and Phatness.