Drummer E.J. Strickland was born in 1979, the identical twin of brother to saxophonist Marcus Strickland. He is one of the most frequently recorded drummers of the 21st century, appearing on over 30 albums, including In His Day (Strick Muzik), his long-awaited debut as a leader.
He attended The New World School of the Arts (Miami) for high school, studying classical music as well as jazz, where he came under the influence of luminous jazz drummers like Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, Tony Williams, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Brian Blade, and others. In 1997, Strickland attended The New School for Social Research, where he studied piano, polished his skills as a composer, and studied with some of the world's greatest drummers: Joe Chambers, Michael Carvin, Carl Allen, Ralph Peterson, Lewis Nash, and Jimmy Cobb.
His first recordings were on brother Marcus' At Last and Brotherhood in the early 2000s. Downbeat Magazine described his drumming as emitting "fields of cumulative energy, clouds of feather-touch and heavy-handed syncopations, latent with power like an oncoming storm."
Strickland has toured and performed with Ravi Coltrane, his brother Marcus' electric/acoustic quartets and trio, Cassandra Wilson, George Colligan quartet and trio and the David Gilmore Trio. He also leads his own bands, the E.J. Strickland Quintet and the E.J. Strickland Project.