Brian Doherty is best known as a drummer for groups like They Might Be Giants, XTC, Freedy Johnston, and Ben Folds, as well as many others.
Born in Brooklyn, Doherty began playing drums at the age of seven. Growing up in Randolph, New Jersey, he cut his teeth playing in high school marching band, percussion ensemble, and in garage rock bands. He attended the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Paul Price and Fred Hinger, and earned a Master of Music degree. Brian pursued the trap set as he then began touring with Jonathan Butler and jazz pioneers like Noel Pointer and Lonnie Liston Smith. A master of several genres, Doherty joined RCA Records' The Silos. The band was a critic favorite and earned the title of Best Band in America (Rolling Stone Magazine). Brian spent the next few years as a session drummer, recording with Freedy Johnston and working with Ben Folds, while joining the faculty at NYC’s Drummers Collective, where he remained for the next thirteen years. In the early 90s, Brian was recruited by They Might Be Giants, replacing their drum machine. For three years they recorded several albums, co-wrote songs, and relentlessly toured the world. After leaving The Giants, Doherty went on to work with M2M, Frank Black, Twyla Tharp, XTC, Madderose, Simone Hardy, Chip Taylor, John Linnell, Mono Puff, John Platania, Sol Seppy, Guy Davis, The Last Men, Vaneese Thomas, Gary Lucas, Haruko Nara and John Langford of The Mekons. In addition to the good gigs, there were endless auditions and close calls with R.E.M., Ani DiFranco, The B-52s, The The and Joe Jackson. Doherty also produced several recordings including Ms. Lum’s Airport Love Song, which Billboard magazine described as “exsquisitely wrought.”
In 2000, Brian went back to graduate school and became a New York City school teacher as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. Currently, Doherty is a music teacher in the West Farms neighborhood of The Bronx. He remains professionally active playing recording sessions, private events and Broadway shows. He’s worked on the Broadway productions of RENT, Hairspray, The Times They Are A Changin’ and Little Shop of Horrors. Brian Doherty’s ability to faithfully execute several musical genres, and his extensive knowledge of drumming, has made him a demanded drummer and teacher.