Fredy Studer was born in Lucerne, Switzerland where he still lives today. He began playing drums at the age of 16, after four years of “Basel drumming.” Studer is an autodidact with a highly diverse spectrum of musical styles encompassing march and dance music as well as beat, folk, rock, psychedelic, blues, jazz rock, rhythm ‘n’ blues, be-bop, free jazz, free funk, and improvisation.
Studer founded “OM”, the electricjazz-freemusic group, together with Urs Leimgruber, Christy Doran, and Bobby Burri in 1972. Brazilian percussionist Dom Um Romao has been a part-time member of the band since 1977.
Studer was also the drummer for both the Franco Ambrosetti Quartet and the Franco Ambrosetti-George Gruntz Quintet (together with Joe Henderson and Miroslav Vitous or with Larry Schneider and Dave Holland) and for Percussion Profiles (Jack DeJohnette, Pierre Favre, Dom Um Romao, David Friedman and George Gruntz). He’s performed with a wide range of trios, ensembles, and bands including: Brüninghaus/Stockhausen/Studer and Red Twist & Tuned Arrow (Stephan Wittwer and Christy Doran); Singing Drums (Paul Motian, Pierre Favre, and Nana Vasconcelos); the Charlie Mariano Jasper van’t Hof Group; the Bourquin/Francioli/Studer trio; Hardy Hepp’s Hand in Hand; the Robyn Schulkowsky Ensemble; Doran/Studer/Burri/Magnenat band (later Doran/Studer/Gerber/Magnenat); Doran/Studer/ Minton/Bates & Ali (later Doran/Studer/Minton/Ali & Cora); and Doran/Studer/Tacuma/Jenny-Clark. Studer was also a member of the Four in Time drum quartet (Daniel Humair, Pierre Favre, and Fritz Hauser) and has played for more than 25 years together with Pierre Favre as a duo under the name Drum Orchestra.
Studer has performed at festivals, has given concerts and workshops, has recorded for radio and television, as well as music for dance productions and radio plays, theatre, and film music in Europe, Africa, Japan, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Taiwan, India, Russia, and in Canada and the USA. He has been honored with numerous prizes and awards.
Studer also works as a freelance drummer and performs a limited number of select solo concerts. He was one of the first drummers to incorporate open improvisation and grooves into his style.
Studer’s Now’s the Time (including the two solo drum LPs plus a book in English and German) is now available.