Gary Novak

Posted on 
February 28, 2022
3:43 pm

American session drummer Gary Novak has collaborated with the best of them, from Alanis Morissette to Lee Ritenour. The son of renowned jazz pianist Larry Novak, Gary began his musical journey at age 8 in 1970s Chicago. His mother, Carol Novak, also played piano as part of a trio. 

Novak worked at his father’s club between the ages of 10 and 12, gaining invaluable first-hand experience that led him to several impressive accomplishments before even graduating high school. As a teenager, he worked with jazz clarinet master Buddy Defranco and received endorsements from Yamaha drums and Zildjian cymbals.

Novak moved to Los Angeles when he was 19 and got his first road gig drumming with Maynard Ferguson. He was soon working with artists like Brandon Fields, Chaka Khan, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Anita Baker, and more. Throughout the 90s, Novak toured with George Benson, Bob Berg, Alanis Morisette, and Allan Holdsworth. In 2000, he appeared on Hodsworth’s album “The Sixteen Men Of Tain” as both a drummer and a composer. 

Today, Novak is recognized as one of the most active studio musicians in the industry. Most notably, he worked on the soundtrack of Deadpool 2 (2018), the score of “La La Land: The Complete Musical Experience,” and David Crosby’s 2021 album, “For Free.”

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