Krupa’s Kit Donated to Smithsonian Institution

By Andy Doerschuk Published December 1, 2010

(Left) John Hasse and Ken Kimery of the Smithsonian with their newest acquisition

A family from Cantonsville, Maryland donated an historic set of Slingerland drums once played by jazz legend Gene Krupa to the Smithsonian Institution on November 29. A drummer named Donald Hay bought the used drums at a Baltimore music shop in 1940. Reportedly, Krupa traded in the kit when he picked up a new one at the Fred Walker Instrument Co. Hay died last year and willed the kit to his children.

“It’s a wonderful addition to our national collections,” the Smithsonian’s curator of American Music, John Hasse, told “It vividly depicts a story of one of America's leading percussionists.” The kit will complement other instruments displayed at the Smithsonian once owned by members of the famed Benny Goodman Quartet – Goodman’s clarinet and Lionel Hampton’s vibraphone.