The first LP instrument that Danny Cummings ever acquired was a second-hand conga he persuaded his parents to buy him for his 21st birthday. "I remember thinking that black fiberglass conga marked the beginning of a new era for me," says Cummings. And perhaps it did. In the 20 years since, the London-based percussionist has recorded with such rock notables as Tina Turner, George Michael, Dire Straits, Penguin Café Orchestra, Elton John, Simply Red, Mark Knopfler, and Bryan Adams. His playing is particularly well showcased on "Ocean Drive" by The Lighthouse Family, and on the cabaret-tinged "Shag Tobacco" by vocalist Gavin Friday (on which Cummings recorded more than 60 overdubs). He also appears on Adams' most recent album, "On a Day Like Today," and on Knopfler recordings.
At age 12, Cummings began playing snare drum in his school band, then got hooked on percussion with a pair of bongos that his grandparents brought him from Trinidad. His early musical influences included Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, and Bill Withers, and "as any percussionist who plays congas incontemporary music will tell you, Santana was a most powerful influence."
Today, in addition to congas, shakers, and tambourines, Cummings plays a collection of original African instruments and experiments with electronic sounds: "I like the idea of blending very traditional instruments with futuristic, cosmic things." Cummings has been using LP equipment throughout his career and has complete confidence in their instruments.