Abe Laboriel: Energetic McCartney drummer

Abe Laboriel Jr. (Photo credit: DMY)

This article first appeared in 2009

Powerful, commanding, and each performance full of robust energy! Abe Laboriel Jr., the self-proclaimed workaholic, is a drummer who has worked with artists in nearly every genre, showcasing his versatility and depth as musician. He attributes his success to the guidance he received from his parents. Abe has drummed for Paul McCartney, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Fiona Apple, Eric Clapton, Shakira, Jewel, Duran Duran, Liz Phair, Ringo Starr, Chris Isaak, Melissa Etheridge, Manhattan Transfer,  Gavin Degraw and others. Abe has an extensive discography as a testament to his percussive prowess.

Abe started on the drums at age four and studied under many pro drummers and percussionists including Jeff Porcaro, Chester Thompson and Alex Acuña. He attended the Dick Grove School of Music studying with Peter Donald. In 1989, his last year of high school, he was honored by the National Foundation For The Advancement Of The Arts and Down Beat magazine. He then enrolled at the Berklee College of Music, where he graduated in 1993.

Laboriel has stated that his first big break as a drummer was a tour with guitarist Steve Vai. The gig that lead to even more exposure, more studio time on the kit, and more exposure was touring with Seal. Abe then toured with k.d. lang which lead to joining Sting’s touring band and touring and working with Paul McCartney.

Most recently Abe toured with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood on their 14-date American Tour in 2009 and Paul McCartney and has been the drummer for the majority of McCartney’s tours and recordings this decade.

Abe Laboriel is also a talented vocalist and contributed background vocals to ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and other songs while on tour with Paul McCartney. Abe was also a produce on Chocolate Genius Inc.’s ‘Godmusic’ cd.