John “Ayanuze” Iannuzzi is a New York City based drummer, producer and musical artist. At an early age, he began playing and studying the piano and soon after picked up the drums. Once he was exposed to jazz it “opened up the gates” and it has become the underlying influence in all of his music. In 2002 John was accepted into the New Jersey Performing Arts Centers Jazz for Teens Program. There he met Ralph Peterson whose playing was “…larger than life. Ralph was my connection to the roots of jazz music…he has opened up my mind in so many ways and has become a huge part of my sound.” Through the encouragement of Peterson John moved to New City where he enrolled at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music on a scholarship. The Drummer/Producer describes the time as “total immersion in music at place where the innovators and key players were up close and teaching the next generation of artists…” “I was around students and young musicians that were already working with Roy Hargrove, Kenny Garrett, Carmen Lundy, as well as Jay-Z, Diddy, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Common, making waves in both jazz as well as contemporary music. This was a huge time of discovery and inspiration as well as musical connections and awakenings.”
John Iannuzzi’s credits include being hired by luminaries such as Curtis Lundy, Bobby Watson, Craig Handy, Johnny O’Neal, Mark Gross, Ralph Peterson, Bruce Williams, Don Braden, Stacy Dillard, Albert Rivera, as well as Justin Kauflin.
In February of 2019 John released his debut album appropriately titled “ALL IN!!!!!” under his own label Ayanuze Entertainment which features longtime musical peer David Bryant (Louis Hayes/Abraham Burton/Marcus Strickland) The two played a three and a half month residency gig in Shanghai with in 2009 through Revive the Live Music. They played close to 300 sets of music during this time period, which laid the musical foundation that of which this project was built upon.
The album features veteran Curtis Lundy – bassist/producer for Betty Carter, Johnny Griffin/Eddie Lockjaw Davis, John Hicks, Bobby Watson, as well as arranger of the sample for megahit “Jesus Walks.”
Iannuzzi and Curtis Lundy’s relationship goes back to 1998 when Lundy performed at John’s middle school “Curtis has been incredibly instrumental in my development musically. We have spent a lot of time together over the past 8 years and I consider him one of my greatest musical inspirations and a guiding light. He has helped me elevate myself multiple times and has always backed me and encouraged me to make things happen.”
Be on the lookout for the signature sound of Ayanuze.