James Dreier is a drumset, Latin percussion, and jazz educator, clinician, and performer. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) and a Master of Arts degree in music theory from the University of Iowa. He has studied with such master drummers as, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Jesus Alfonso, Jose Amat, Giovani Hildalgo, Pascoal Meirelles, Michael Spiro, Joe Hunt and Alan Dawson.
Dreier has performed with such jazz notables as George Garzone, Phil Wilson, Jimmy Mosher, Tim Hagans, Steve Swallow, Carla Bley, Victor Mendoza, Willie Pickens, Anthony Cox, Robin Eubanks, Benny Wallace and Kenny Wheeler.
For four years, he performed and traveled with Brazilian pianist Rafael Dos Santos, including a residency at the Conservatorio Pernambucano de Musica in Refice, Brazil. Dreier has also traveled to Cuba (Matanzas and Havana), where he studied with the legendary Rumba groups Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Grupo Afro Cuba and with master drummer Jesus Alfonzo, Daniel Alfonso and others.
Mr. Dreier is a former member of the Iowa-based Latin jazz group "Orquesta Alto Maiz" who released eight CDs, toured Europe and the Pacific Northwest. Dreier's recording credits include A Fungus Among Us, Odds and Ends and Lost Art Café with the jazz group Odd Bar Trio, John Rapson's Water and Blood, on the 9 Winds label (Beverly Hills), and Before My Life with Tim O'Dell on the Southport Records label (Chicago). In addition, Mr. Dreier has authored articles for Percussive Notes (Journal of the Percussive Arts Society) and Modern Drummer Magazine.
A lecturer in Jazz Studies at the University of Iowa, Mr. Dreier teaches Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Cultures in America and Abroad, directs the Latin/jazz Ensemble, the World Beat Ensemble and co-leads the Afro Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble. He also performs with the UI Jazz faculty group.