This is a huge loss for music.
We at AEE are deeply saddened to learn that that legendary drummer Joe Porcaro has died at 90. Joe passed peacefully in his sleep on Monday, July 6th, 2020.
His son Steve made the following announcement about his father’s death on his Facebook page today.
”The Porcaro Family is heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Patriarch, Joe Porcaro. Surrounded by his wife Eileen and his family, Joe passed peacefully in his sleep on July 6 at 11:37 PM.
Joe and his three sons Jeff, Mike, and Steve Porcaro all were amazing session musicians.
It was under his knowledge of not just drumming and percussion, but also his understanding of everything about music that the boys learned from their dad. Jeff, Mike, and Steve all started out drummers just like Papa Joe did. Each son excelled at their respective instrument.
They all became so highly successful as session players in the studios performing on Grammy-Winning Albums from some of the world’s most recognized artists.
Joe Porcaro played for some of the biggest names in the music business including The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson Five, Madonna, and many more. He also appeared and played on his sons’ band Toto’s albums.
Joe got his start in drumming at church, adapting field drums and cymbals to create his first drum kit. During his teenage years, Porcaro toured with Jazz trombonist Tommy Dorsey. Joe would play musical theater and symphonic concerts around his native Connecticut. Joe and the whole Porcaro family moved to LA, in 1966 after visiting his childhood friend and fellow percussionist Emil Richards. In just two months he was backing Chet Baker, which would lead Porcaro to work on the TV show Daktari and perform on music for the Mission Impossible series.
He played on so many famous soundtracks.
Porcaro performed sessions for Die Hard, Beverly Hill’s Cop II, Finding Nemo, Murder She Wrote, and Columbo. You can hear Joe’s standout bass marimba part on Toto’s hit song Africa that was on the Toto IV album.
Porcaro’s son’s Drummer Jeff Porcaro, and Bassist Mike Porcaro, and Keyboardist Steve Porcaro were all members of the band Toto.
Joe’s influence as a prolific player goes deep into the foundation of drums as an instrument. Porcaro was widely regarded in his legendary storied career, as the definition of the studio musician.
His work as an educator can not go unnoticed. Porcaro taught so many students how to play the drums and percussion. He has many books as well where his work will forever live on.
Joe is survived by his wife Eileen, son Steve, and daughter Joleen.
RIP Joe Porcaro, your Musical Talents will be greatly missed.
We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the whole Porcaro family.