“Figure out how to make music happen and do that”--Harold Summey
Born in Newport News, VA and raised in the Washington, DC area, Harold Summey started playing drums and percussion at age 13. With degrees from Hampton and Howard Universities and studies at Eastman School of Music, he has crafted a career that spans decades, genres, and continents.
Individuals he has performed with as either drummer or percussionist include Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Buck Hill, Harold Mabern, Eric Alexander, Gunther Schuller, Wynton Marsalis, Geri Allen, Pat Metheny, Whitney Houston, James Moody, John Hicks, David "Fathead" Newman, Don Braden, Brian Lynch, Charlie Young, Tim Warfield, Walt Weiskopf, Terrell Stafford, Nick Brignola, Ray Charles, Patti Austin, Aaron Neville, Paul Carr, Bobby Watson, and Frank Sinatra, Jr.
Ensembles he has played with as percussionist and/or soloist include The Cleveland Orchestra, The Virginia Symphony, The American Festival Pops Orchestra, The Airmen of Note, The Navy Commodores, The Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, The Annapolis Symphony, and The Maryland Symphony. He is retired from The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" in Washington, DC where he performed as percussionist and soloist with the Concert Band from 2000-2020. Mr. Summey was also a member of The United States Navy Band in Washington, DC from 1989 to 1993.
In 1992, Mr. Summey was the first prize winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.
As an educator, Harold has done clinics and master classes for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (now the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz) in the United States and abroad as well as at Hampton University, Howard University, George Mason University, and The University of Colorado, Boulder. Most recently, he was on the faculty at Howard University, American University, and George Mason University. While in demand as a clinician, Harold also enjoys teaching his private students, from ages 6 to 60!
Harold now resides in Denver, CO with his wife Leslie and the last three at home of their five of the best kids on the planet.