Born in Buffalo, NY, Carmen Intorre Jr. developed an early interest in music and began playing drums at age five. A graduate of The Institute for Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School, he has performed and recorded with numerous musicians such as George Benson, Larry Coryell, Wynton Marsalis, Monty Alexander, George Coleman, Eric Alexander, George Cables, Benny Golson, Richie Cole, Joe Locke, Lew Tabackin, Bobby Watson, Ira Sullivan, Bucky Pizzarelli, and many others. Currently Intorre performs with legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino, touring extensively throughout the world with the guitarist’s organ trio.
A 2011 GRAMMY® nominee for his performance on the critically acclaimed album by Joey DeFrancesco entitled Never Can Say Goodbye: The Music of Michael Jackson, Intorre also had the pleasure of performing alongside DeFrancesco and Dr. Lonnie Smith on the PBS show Legends of Jazz, hosted by Ramsey Lewis. “Carmen is one of my favorite drummers; he has a very wide groove and strong beat, and most of all he swings his ass off! I love him!” says DeFrancesco.
Receiving both his BM and MM degrees from Juilliard Intorre is always eager to uncover the latest information about music and drumming and to share that information with others. He states, “This is my job. I have to give back what I was given a chance to do.” He goes on to explain, “Music is an opportunity for me to give up my soul, while in the process connecting with the audiences’ souls as well. I want the musicians on the bandstand and the members of the audience to feel uplifted after a performance, to feel great about themselves through the experience that they encountered.”
Perhaps one word best describes Carmen Intorre and his music: Joy. Reminiscent of Billy Higgins, Intorre brings a palpable swing and drive to virtually every bandstand he performs on.