KCRW’s Private Playlist: Karriem Riggins

KCRW’s Private Playlist is a listening session with Southern California’s most notable musical figures in their private creative environments. With a resume that ranges from Talib Kweli to Paul McCartney, L.A.-based drummer Karriem Riggins has assembled his kit in a borderless zone that encompasses modern jazz, hip-hop, classic singer-songwriters, and whatever else tickles his fancy. Riggins studied with legendary bassist Roy Brown and quickly became the go-to rhythmatist for Ron Carter, Donald Byrd, Oscar Peterson, and other jazz icons. Honoring his own upbringing among the nascent rap and hip-hop scenes, Riggins became an in-demand beatmaker for Common, J Dilla, and Erykah Badu, among others. His expansive credits also include Elvis Costello and the Roots, Kaytranada, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, and Esperanza Spalding. In late 2020, he released “Pardon My French,” a long-mooted collaboration with Madlib, as The Jahari Massamba Unit.