Gene Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was an influential American jazz and big band drummer and composer, known for his highly energetic and flamboyant style.
Eugene Bertram Krupa was born in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest of nine children in the family of Bartlomiej Krupa and Anna (née Oslowski) Krupa. His father was an immigrant from Poland, and his mother was born in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania; his siblings were Clarence, Eleanor, Casimir, Leo, Peter and Julius.
Krupa studied with Sanford A. Moeller and began playing professionally in the mid 1920s with bands in Wisconsin. He broke into the Chicago scene in 1927, when he was picked by MCA to become a member of "Thelma Terry and Her Playboys", the first notable American Jazz band (outside of all-girl bands) to be led by a female musician. The Playboys were the house band at The Golden Pumpkin nightclub in Chicago and also toured extensively throughout the eastern and central United States.