Beatstix Music

  • Solo Artist
  • Cropped gayelynn s original headshot
  • Cropped gayelynn in spain with sabian cymbal


Jazz, Adult contemporary, House, Funk Dance, Ambient, Techno, R&B, Latin Jazz More...


Detroit MI United States

Sounds Like

Traditional, Contemporary and Latin Jazz, R&B, Neo Soul, House and Rock,


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Member since: 05/20/2014 Year Founded: 1992


Mail alt 16x12 Gayelynn McKinney
Thumb gayelynn in spain with sabian cymbal

Gayelynn McKinney


Drummer 313.949.9318


  • Original material: 23 hrs : 45 min
  • Cover material: 09 hrs : 15 min
  • CDs released: 6
  • CDs sold: 42000
  • Licensed songs: 0
  • Original Songs: 18
  • Average Draw: 200
  • Largest crowd: 2,000
  • Have sound: No PA


Born and raised in Detroit Michigan, Gayelynn's father, the legendary Harold McKinney, was a formidable jazz pianist, composer and teacher who mentored many people and played with such great as, Billy Holiday, Gene Krupa and many others. Her mother Gwendolyn McKinney was a fashion model and renowned singer, singing in such productions as Carman and Porgy and Bess. She was also recorded on Harold McKinney's “Voices and Rhythms of The Creative Profile.” As a vocal instructor she mentored many successful vocalist, including one of Ray Charles's Raylets.

Gayelynn began playing the drums at the age of two and has had ample exposure to the creative music scene since birth. She received much of her musical training on the Detroit Jazz scene, but, she also obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Music from Oakland University. At the university she was a part of the Meadowbrook Estate a renowned show choir and a member of the university jazz band. At Oakland University she learned music theory and composition.

Among Gayelynn McKinney's many awards, she was presented with an award for outstanding musical performance during Music Fest, USA where she won best drummer beating out over nine thousand participants. McKinney was recently awarded the Motor City Music Award with the Grammy nominated group Straight Ahead, that she is also cofounder of.

Gayelynn McKinney's diverse drumming style has given her the opportunity to travel extensively and play at many famous jazz festivals including Montreux-Switzerland, Lionel Hampton Jazz Fest New Orleans Jazz and Heritage, Boston Globe, Jamaica Jazz and Heritage, the 1996 Olympics, the Woma Jazz Fest in Italy and the Kennedy Center. Gayelynn recently recorded a solo project called “It's About Time,” which has given her the opportunity to perform as a band leader. Also as a band leader, she has rekindled her fathers music, with a sextet called McKinfolk. She has also performed as a side musician with such notables as, Aretha Franklin, Geri Allen, Marcus Belgrave, Chaka Khan, Mary Stallings, Eric Reed, Roy Hargrove, Javon Jackson, David “Fathead” Newman, Steve Turre, Sonny Fortune, Kevin Mahogany and “Speech” of Arrested Development, just to name a few.

New York Times

July 23, 2014
Ben Ratliff

"Ms. McKinney and Ms. Hayden both played in kind, with such forbearance and respect for the design of the song that your listening mind could reflexively fill in details that they chose not to."

Michigan Chronicle

May 28, 2014
R. English

" McKinney is now among the most sought after drummers on the Detroit scene."

Tour Dates