Jabo Starks, one of the funkiest drummers to ever sit behind a kit, has passed away today age 79. A pioneer in the funk drumming world and a huge influence to countless drummers, Starks died in his home in Mobile, Alabama after fighting leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. The new has been confirmed by Starks’ manager Kathie Williams.
John Henry “Jabo” Starks was a key drummer for James Brown, playing on many of Brown’s biggest hits and bestselling albums. Jabo Starks was often joined on stage and in the studio by the equally funky Clyde Stubblefield, in a two-drummer groove team that formed the foundation of James Brown’s music.
Alongside bandmate Clyde Stubblefield, Jabo Starks can be heard playing on many of James Brown’s classics including Sex Machine, The Payback, Super Bad, I Got the Feelin’, Cold Sweat, and Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.
Check out this great interview with Jabo Starks to see him in action: