Donny Gruendler was born and raised in the diverse musical surroundings of Detroit, Michigan. As a result, Gruendler grew up alongside an unusually broad range of influences including: soul, funk, pop, hip hop, traditional swing, hard bop, techno, house and blues.
At age twenty, Gruendler graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor of Music Degree. At age 21, he earned his Master of Music Degree from Wayne State Univ. in Detroit, MI. Now living in Los Angeles, Gruendler has performed, programmed, toured and recorded behind such artists as: Kenny Burrell, John Medeski, D.J. Logic, the Funk Brothers (Motown), D.J A-Ski (Unique 74), Art Bleek, Charlie Sputnik, Rick Holmstrom, and Kirk Fletcher.
He has composed and/or played on jingles for Axe Body Spray, RE/MAX on the Boulevard, and NPR. His select film/TV credits include Last Holiday, Father of Invention, and the Showtime feature Chicago Overcoat. Donny is also a noted producer under the pseudonym Inc and one half of the funky-jazz-soul-electro duo Rhett Frazier Inc. Okayplayer describes their productions as cosmic brilliance delivered via a well-stirred pot of soul, jazz, rock, funk and gospel.
In the education realm, Gruendler is the President of Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, and he is also a member of the Modern Drummer education team and a frequent columnist for the magazine. Donny has also released many instructional books, DVDs and online content under his own name. Gruendler endorses the following companies: Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Remo Drumheads and Vic Firth Sticks. For more information, please visit www.donnygruendler.com.
In 2018 Guitar Center named Donny Gruendler Vice President of Music Education.