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Behind the Scenes with Karriem Riggins



Photo by Gerard Victor.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Karriem Riggins (drums) first began his musical journey when he joined his father Emmanuel, a Motown Records session musician who performed with Grant Green, in the studio to play with instruments. He is best known as a jazz drummer and hip-hop producer for artists including Common, Slum Village, Talib Kweli, and The Roots.

He is performing as part of the D-3 Trio during the upcoming From Cass Corridor to the World: A Tribute to Detroit’s Musical Golden Age performance on January 21.

Of his participation in the project, he says, “I spent a lot of time in the Cass Corridor area when I was young, being a part of the Detroit Council of the Arts. I was also in the Cass Tech Marching Band in 11th Grade, and we marched all through the corridor. I’m interested in this project because not only do I get to make music with my favorites, but we get a chance to create awareness. It’s an important artistic area of Detroit city.”

We asked Karriem what he’s been listening to lately. Check out his playlist below.

Learn more about Karriem Riggins at

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