Dennis Chambers (born May 9, 1959) is an American drummer who has recorded and performed with John Scofield, George Duke, Brecker Brothers, Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, Niacin, Mike Stern, Greg Howe, and many others.
Despite a lack of formal training, Chambers has become well known among drummers for his technique and speed. Chambers is particularly regarded for his ability to play “in the pocket” but can also stretch very far out of the pocket which is also a hallmark of his technique. Chambers exhibits a powerful style that is technically proficient, yet highly musical and groove-oriented. He can play in a wide variety of musical genres, but is perhaps most notable for his jazz-fusion, funk, and Latin music playing. He is mostly known for his fast hands and triplets on the bass drum. He has helped many young drummers, the most prominent being Tony Royster, Jr.
He has been part of the Maceo Parker live band and is touring with Carlos Santana and makes appearances with his band Niacin.
Chambers began drumming at the age of four years old, and was gigging in Baltimore-area nightclubs by the age of six. In 1978 (at 18 years old) he joined Parliament/Funkadelic, and stayed with them until 1985. In 1986 he joined the John Scofield band. Since then he has played with most of the major figures in jazz fusion music.
On August 26, 2011 Chambers appeared as a featured drummer on the Late Show with David Letterman’s Drum Solo Week II, alongside other such notable players as Tony Royster, Jr., Gavin Harrison, Neil Peart and Stewart Copeland.