There are two artists named Chester Thompson:
1. The Drummer (Frank Zappa, Genesis)
2. The Keyboardist (Tower of Power, Santana)
1. From Jazz (Weather Report), to Rock (Frank Zappa and the Mothers), to Pop (Genesis/Phil Collins) to Gospel (Ron Kenoly), Chester Thompson has surpassed the boundaries of musical genres. Chester's performance and recording experiences have influenced over three decades of music and musicians. Whether playing drum kit or percussion, Chester's masterful subtleties and unyielding time create the firm musical foundation for any musical genre.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Chester started playing in local nightclubs at age 13. He’s not stopped since then and has spent extended periods of time in various musical centers including Los Angeles, CA and London. After a heavy touring schedule in the 1970s, 80s and 1990s, Chester and his family now call Nashville, TN home. Busy with live performances, studio recordings, clinics and writing, Chester's Nashville residence has afforded him more time to invest in students.
On faculty at Belmont University since 1998, Chester teaches Applied Performance lessons and directs a Jazz Ensemble.
Known for his teaching style and zeal for music, Chester is a favorite among students and fellow colleagues. He has released a DVD of a performance at the 2003 Paderborn Drum Festival entitled "On the Fly" and another DVD with Luis Conte, "Drum Talk, El Habla Tabor".
2. Chester Thompson is a keyboardist from California best known for his playing with Tower of Power and Santana. Thompson joined Tower of Power for their self-titled 1973 album, and remained with the band until 1982. Thompson wrote many of Tower of Power's songs, including Squib Cakes. He recorded one solo album on the Black Jazz label. The producer selected the other musicians appearing with Thompson on the record, including a trumpet that never arrived to the recording session. Chester can be heard playing bass with his left hand on this album, a skill he rarely used during his time with Tower of Power.
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