Karriem started out as jazz drummer, working with vocalist Betty Carter and trumpeter Roy Hargrove. He is also a producer, and has worked with people like The Roots, Common, Slum Village and J Dilla.
He is also part of The Detroit Experiment, along with the likes of Amp Fiddler and Marcus Belgrave.
If jazz and hip-hop passionately and cleverly intertwined with one another, the hybrid result would be a musically gifted lovechild. Born August 25, 1975 in Detroit, MI, Karriem Riggins’ parents realized their son was gifted when he began digging through their records. He joined his father Emmanuel (who used to perform with jazz guitarist Grant Green) in the studio to play with instruments in the likeness of a musical great. Riggins continued his ongoing affair with music in his education and made hip-hop music in his spare time.
Riggins turned his love into a profession, moving to New York City in 1994 at the age of 19. He played drums in Betty Carter’s band “Jazz Ahead.” While Riggins strengthened and developed his forte, the jazz world became enraptured with such an exceptional performer. Riggins went on to perform with and appear on recordings with various jazz greats such as Hank Jones, Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Donald Byrd, Cedar Walton, Bobby Hutcherson, Kenny Burrell, Benny Green, Mulgrew Miller, Ron Carter, Gary Bartz and Diana Krall.
Not one to abide musical boundaries, Karriem has made major accomplishments within the hip-hop world as a musician and producer. He has produced album tracks for Common, Slum Village, The Roots, and Erykah Badu. He’s toured with Common three times, and produced his “Play Your Cards Right” for Paramount Picture’s feature film “Smoking Aces.” He helped Kanye West demo some theme songs for “Mission Impossible III” featuring Twista and Keyshia Cole. One of Karriem’s most personal and esteemed projects was finishing and producing J Dilla’s last project, “The Shining.” Karriem released his first self-titled album, “Music Kaleidoscope,” showcasing his unique range as a hip hop producer and established jazz musician. More recently, Karriem has played drums and collaborated with Mad-Lib for his “High Jazz” album. Karriem Riggins continues to embark on a musical voyage, developing and creating music that will captivate audiences and entice the musical senses.