As our reader's poll demonstrates, Charleston drummer Quentin Baxter -- the dreadlocked timekeeper with the beautiful maple drum kit and solid chops -- is revered as one of the most soulful, proficient, and creative drummers in town, winning this category two years running. A longtime musician, composer, and teacher, he grew up in Charleston playing gospel, jazz, and marching band music in middle and high school. He currently devotes time as an adjunct professor of jazz percussion in the College of Charleston's music department and various local and touring gigs with jazz/improv trio Gradual Lean, his own combo, Quentin Baxter & Friends, and others.
Just what is it about Baxter's drumming that has cast such a spell on our readers? After weeks of intensive research and evaluation, the City Paper finally pinpointed the precise "Baxter signature fill" -- a feathery, subliminal rhythmic pattern tossed in from time to time across the snare drum. Comprised of a nine-stroke roll, two single drags, a ratamacue, a flam tap, three ruffs, and two double-paradiddles, it simply melts his audience every time it's executed.