Curator of the Arts Honoree
Calvin Napper is his name, and music has always been his game.
You could say he was born with rhythm in his blood. His mother and aunties are gospel music legends The Napper Singers. When it came time for Calvin to develop his own musical gifts, he gravitated to a drum kit.
After teaching himself the art of drumming, Calvin burst onto the scene, making his debut with his family’s popular group. The public quickly took notice of Napper’s talent as he played at churches and events throughout the region.
He attracted national attention shortly after graduating from Reynolds High when he was tapped to join John P. Key’s national tour. This prestigious gig led other gospel stars to seek Calvin’s drumming genius, including Donnie McClurkin and Donald Lawrence. Napper also keeps his spiritual roots strong by playing at Greater Cleveland Avenue Christian Church, where he has helped make the music ministry dynamic.
But great talent has no boundaries. Secular artists like Stephanie Mills and most recently Frankie Beverly and Maze have turned to Napper, and he has toured the world helping them entertain tens of thousands of fans.
For showing that with faith and persistence, artistic talent has no bounds, The Chronicle and the community are proud to honor Calvin Napper as a Curator of the African American arts.