Fredy Studer was born on June 16, 1948, in Lucerne (Switzerland), where he also lives today. Studer began playing the drums at the age of 16, after four years of "Basel drumming". He is an autodidact with a highly diverse spectrum of music styles, encompassing march and dance music, as well as beat, folk, rock, psychedelic, blues, jazz rock, rhythm 'n blues and be-bop, free jazz, free funk and improvisation. Studer's music performances since the early seventies have been as eclectic as his freelance activities with musicians, ranging from "A", as in John Abercrombie, to "Z", as in John Zorn.
Fredy Studer founded "OM", the electric jazz free music group, together with Urs Leimgruber, Christy Doran und Bobby Burri in 1972. The Brazilian percussionist Dom Um Romao has been a part-time member of the band since 1977.
Fredy Studer was also the drummer for both the "Franco Ambrosetti Quartet" and the "Franco Ambrosetti George Gruntz Quintet" (together with Joe Henderson and Miroslav Vitous or with Larry Schneider and Dave Holland) and for "Percussion Profiles" (with Jack DeJohnette, Pierre Favre, Dom Um Romao, David Friedman and George Gruntz).
During the eighties, Studer performed with the following trios: "Brüninghaus/Stockhausen/Studer" and "Red Twist & Tuned Arrow" (with Stephan Wittwer and Christy Doran); in the percussion ensemble "Singing Drums" (with Paul Motian, Pierre Favre and Nana Vasconcelos); in the "Charlie Mariano Jasper van't Hof Group"; and in the "Bourquin/Francioli/Studer" trio. In addition, he was the drummer for "Hand in Hand", Hardy Hepp’s band.
In 1987, Studer worked as a member of the "Robyn Schulkowsky Ensemble" and interpreted pieces by such composers as Charles Ives, Steve Reich, Edgard Varèse and John Cage for the first time.
During the nineties, Studer was the drummer in the "Doran/Studer/Burri/Magnenat" band (later "Doran/Studer/Gerber/Magnenat"), for the "Doran/Studer/ Minton/Bates & Ali (later "Doran/Studer/ Minton/Ali & Cora) play the music of Jimi Hendrix" project, as well as with "Doran/Studer/Tacuma/Jenny-Clark".
From 2000 to its disbandment, Studer was a member of the "Four in Time" drum quartet (with Daniel Humair, Pierre Favre and Fritz Hauser).
Fredy Studer has performed at festivals, has given concerts and workshops, has recorded for radio and television, as well as music for dance productions and radio plays, theatre and film music in Europe, Africa, Japan, Central and South America, the Caribbean, in Taiwan, India, Russia and in Canada and the USA. He has been honoured with numerous prizes and awards.
His current bands and projects are:
Koch-Schütz-Studer - Phall Fatale - Drum Trio with Joey Baron, Jojo Mayer and Fredy Studer - Doran-Stucky-Studer-Tacuma play the music of Jimi Hendrix - The Franco Ambrosetti-Fredy Studer Sextet plays Wayne Shorter - Schulkowsky-Studer-Baron - OM - Drum Orchestra - Fredy Studer Solo
Studer also works as a freelance drummer and performs a limited number of select solo concerts. He was one of the first drummers to incorporate open improvisation and grooves into his style.
Fredy Studer plays GRETSCH drums, PAISTE cymbals/sounds/gongs and uses DW hardware and pedals as well as VIC FIRTH sticks