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Gayelynn McKinney

Gayelynn McKinney is one of the most accomplished drummers in Detroit. Her father was the legendary Jazz pianist and composer, Harold McKinney, who once played with Billie Holliday. Her mother was a noted singer.

Gayelynn began playing drums at the age of 2 in her dad’s basement. She began lessons at age 8 and had a drum set by age 9. Gayelynn took up the clarinet in 5th grade and the saxophone in 6th grade. She became 1st Chair on clarinet in 7th grade. In 10th Grade, she played drums in the Jazz band and saxophone in the Concert band. After graduating college she and bassist, Marion Hayden, formed the “Straight Ahead” Jazz Band which continues to perform all across the country and overseas.

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