New Orleans-drummer Terence Higgins: Playing all kinds of music
Music is everything to me. It consumes a lot of my time, I need it like I need air. There is not a day that goes by when I’m not involved in music one way or the other, be it as a working professional or as a listener. It’s life to me. And it has been like that every since I can remember. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t play. I don’t come from a big musical family, but my great grandfather introduced me to the drums at an early age, and my aunts and uncles didn’t play any instruments but always loved music and would take me to musical events all the time. I’m self-taught to a degree although I spend a few years in college studying music. I have mostly learned music by playing with other artists. That is how you really learn.
I was born and raised in New Orleans. The spirit of New Orleans is within me and I carry it with me everywhere I go. It’s who I am. I am every bit of the culture. I am so grateful to be from there. Of course I’m bias but it is a great, great city. What I got from being born there is understanding the culture, understanding the old city and the mix of the African, French, Italian, Irish heritage. We grew up with music in the streets. People go there to study it and to try to pick up the syncopated rhythms. After Katrina everybody is aware of New Orleans, about the importance the city.
Terence Higgins at New Orleans Jazz Fest 2014 (with Warren Haynes)
I am a former member of the legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band, one of the most famous New Orleans brass bands in the world. The dozen help pioneer the brass band movement in the 70’ is. It brings New Orleans-culture all over the world. Working with the Dozen is an ongoing highlight of my career . with John Scofield. I met him years ago. And my first tour with John was a few years ago with the Piety st. band which was a more bluesy kind of project. John Scofield’s Ûberjam Band is totally different from any other Scofield projects. It is electronic dance music kinda vibe within a jazz setting, and includes Loops,dubstep and reggae elements. A few other artist that I’m consistantly touring with includes Ani Difranco and Warren Haynes of Gov’t mule and the Allman Brothers Band, folk icon Ani DiFranco, and Tab Benoit, who plays Cajun blues. I have my band Swampgrease. We have released two solo albums. The first came in 2005 and was instrumental. The title is ‘’In The Bywater’’. The second album came out in 2013, and is a funkier r’n’b-record with vocals. It’s title is ‘’Rage til Sunrise’’.
Playing all kinds of music was always an objective for me as a drummer and musician.
Terence Higgins with Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Terence Higgins with The John Scofield R&B Quartet at New Morning in 2011
Terence Higgins and Swampgrease ''Destination'' from the album Rage 'til Sunrise (2013)