Carl Allen

Carl Allen
William D. and Mary Grant/Missouri Endowed Professor of Jazz Studies
Jazz Area Coordinator

Contact Info
PAC 253


Carl Allen is the William D. and Mary Grant/Missouri Endowed Professor of Jazz Studies at the UMKC Conservatory in Kansas City, MO.

Carl grew up on gospel, R&B, and funk, music but later turned to jazz after hearing a recording by the legendary saxophonist Benny Carter. His first hometown gigs were with sax greats Sonny Stitt and James Moody, and he joined trumpeter Freddie Hubbard a year before his graduation, served as his Musical Director for eight years and recorded several recordings with the trumpeter including Double Take and Life Flight. Allen also played with Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Benny Golson, Jennifer Holliday, J.J. Johnson, Rickie Lee Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Lena Horne, Ruth Brown, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Mike Stern, Nellie McKay, Terence Blanchard, Phil Woods, Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut, Joe Henderson, Billy Childs and many others. Allen’s sideman discography also includes Jackie McLean (Dynasty), Donald Harrison (Indian Blues, Noveau Swing), Donald Byrd (A City Called Heaven), and Art Farmer (The Company I Keep).

With more than 225 recordings to his credit, the Milwaukee-born, New York-based drummer, sideman, bandleader, entrepreneur, and educator, Carl Allen’s profound and propulsive percolations provided soulful and syncopated support for more than three decades.

Allen attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and William Paterson College, graduating with a BM in Music in Jazz Studies and Performance.

In May 2012 Allen received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. In May 2014, he completed a 6-year tenure serving as the Artistic Director of Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School in New York City.