Danny Seraphine Talks About His Influences as a Drummer

Danny Seraphine Talks About His Influences as a Drummer

Daniel Peter Seraphine (born August 28, 1948) is an American drummer, record producer, theatrical producer and film producer. He is best known as the original drummer and founding member of the rock band Chicago, a tenure which lasted from February 1967 to May 1990.

Daniel Peter Seraphine was born in Chicago to John and Mary Seraphine. The family lived in the Dunning neighborhood on Chicago's northwest side. He started playing drums at the age of nine while attending St. Priscilla Catholic grade school. When he was 15 years old, Seraphine withdrew from Steinmetz High School. Outside of school he joined a local gang called the JPs.

In December 1965, after deciding to give up on making a living playing drums, he got an invitation to join a band called Jimmy Ford and the Executives, Dick Clark's road band. Already in the band were Terry Kath on bass and Walter Parazaider on saxophone. After being let go from Jimmy Ford and the Executives when it merged with another local band, Little Artie and the Pharaohs (under the new name, The Mob) the three of them were invited to join a cover band called The Missing Links.

He studied privately with famed percussionist Bob Tilles at DePaul University, where future members of Chicago were also studying. Seraphine cites his influences as Buddy Rich, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Grady Tate, Ringo Starr, Mitch Mitchell, and Hal Blaine.

He continued his education with big band drummer Chuck Flores, followed by two years of study under jazz drummer Jo Jones (also known as Papa Jo Jones) in the mid-1970s.