George Heid III is a drummer, percussionist, and composer whose diverse musical passions range from jazz, funk and classical to world and electronic genres.
George grew up in his father’s recording studio and began playing drums and piano at age 3. In this environment, he was always immersed in music and surrounded by powerful musical influences, such as jazz guitarist Jimmy Ponder and his uncle Bill Heid, a world-class pianist and Hammond B3 jazz musician.
George’s earliest studies took place at the Afro American Music Institute where he studied with drumming greats Thomas Wendt and James Johnson III. Later George would graduate from Pittsburgh’s Creative and Performing Arts high school, where he was mentored by jazz drumming legend Roger Humphries. After high school, he studied at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University as well as at State University of New York: Purchase, where he studied with master jazz drummers Kenny Washington, John Riley and Richie Morales.
George has toured and played at numerous notable jazz venues across the United States and China, including three multi-month residencies in Hangzhou, China. He has recorded with numerous well-known artists, including Dwayne Dolphin, Sean Jones, Warren Wolf, David Budway, Benny Benack III, Brett Williams, Victor Provost, Ron Blake, Mar Vilaseca, Henry “The Skipper” Franklin, Orrin Evans, Roger Humphries and Steve Shehan. He’s also performed at numerous festivals, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, Tri-C Jazz Fest Cleveland, Washington Jazz Festival, among others.
George is the recipient of numerous awards as both a performer and composer, including the 2013 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, Downbeat magazine’s 2013 Best Original Jazz Composition award, and back-to-back Outstanding Soloist awards at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival awards in 2011 and 2012.