Quinlan Kirchner (b. December 14, 1981) is a drummer, composer, improvisor & DJ from Chicago, Illinois. He first started his musical studies at the age of 10 at the famed Academy of Movement and Music of Oak Park and later at the Merit Music Program of Chicago. Learning from Chicago educator, Don Skoog, his studies soon grew to include the traditions of Afro-Cuban drumming, taking him to Havana, Cuba to study under acclaimed percussionists José Eládio, Omar Rojas & Don Poncho Terry. His early exposure to expressive arts and dedicated practice led him to earn a Basin Street Scholarship to the University of New Orleans, led by Ellis Marsalis, at the age of 18. There, Kirchner learned under the guidance of the city’s drumming masters including Ricky Sebastian, Jason Marsalis, Troy Davis and Johnny Vidacovich and his undergraduate studies led to a B.A. in Music, Jazz Studies, and the Gregory Frederico Senior of the Year Award. It was also while in New Orleans that Kirchner began his career as a performing & recording artist with QMRplus, Red Shift, The Other Planets, The Hall Monitors, Jeff Albert Trio & Quartet, Adam Croce, Irene Sage, Ed Petersen and others. After the dislocation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Kirchner moved to New York for Masters Degree studies at the Manhattan School of Music under John Riley before relocating to Chicago.
In the years since his return to his native Chicago, Kirchner has become a ubiquitous drumming force throughout the city's diverse music scene. He has led countless large & small groups including the Broste/Beach/Kirchner Trio, Head with Wings, Ear to the Ground, Golombisky/Kirchner Duo, Lost Levels, Kirchner/Van Duerm/Lux & The Quin Kirchner Trio, Quartet, Ensemble & Group. In 2006, he was commissioned by the Umbrella Music Organization to compose and perform a 4-movement piece for string quartet & percussion entitled The Quagmire String Quartets. In 2010 he was selected as a member of the New Generation, a cross-cultural exchange in Dortmund, Germany led by Georg Graewe and Tobias Delias as part of the Ruhr 2010 Cultural Capital of Europe.
Kirchner is widely known as a popular sideman performing with such musicians as Rob Mazurek, Jeb Bishop, Jeff Parker, Greg Ward, Dave Rempis, Paul Giallorenzo, Mars Williams, Ryley Walker, Nick Mazzarella, Nate Lepine, Dave Miller, Jason Stein, Keefe Jackson & Matt Ulery to name a few. He has toured, performed and recorded with many different groups including Greg Ward's Fitted Shards, The Nate Lepine Quartet, The Nick Mazzarella Quintet, Bill MacKay's Darts & Arrows, Paul Giallorenzo's GitGo, The Lucky 7s, blink., ZING!, Health&Beauty, In Tall Buildings, NOMO & Wild Belle, among others. His musical talents have been showcased on stages all across North America and in over 20 countries around the world in various venues, most notably The Chicago Jazz Festival, The Montreal Jazz Festival, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, The Vancouver Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits Festival, Voodoo Music & Arts Experience, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Outside Lands, Firefly Festival, Made in Chicago Festival (Poznan, PL), Music Meeting Festival (Nijmegen, NE), Au Foin De La Rue (St. Denis, FR), Festival Corona Capital (Mexico City, DF) and many more.
With "The Other Side Of Time," Kirchner creates a cross-genre, wide-spectrum exploration through his sonic personality. It includes original compositions, spontaneous improvisations, and solo drum pieces alongside interpretations of classics by Sun Ra, Andrew Hill, Charles Mingus, Paul Motian, Phil Cohran & Arthur Verocai. Joining him in his working band is an assemblage of Chicago luminaries - Jason Stein, Nate Lepine, Nick Broste, Matt Ulery & Ben Boye.
The Other Side Of Time is available now via Astral Spirits/Spacetone Recordings.
Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY
Major: Jazz Performance – Drum set
Masters of Music - Partial Degree
University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
Major: Jazz Performance – Drum set, Minor: History
Bachelor of Arts, Graduated December 2004
Gregory Frederico Senior of the Year Award Recipient
St. Ignatius College Prep, Chicago, IL
High School Diploma, Graduated 2000