Gavin Harrison started to work professionally in 1979. In 1983–84 he toured as a member of Renaissance.
He worked as a freelance session drummer on records and tours for the following artists:
Incognito, Lisa Stansfield, Lewis Taylor, Artful Dodger, Paul Young, Iggy Pop, Level 42, Porcupine Tree, OSI, King Crimson, The Pineapple Thief, IamTheMorning, Shooter, Dizrhythmia,The Kings Of Oblivion, Sam Brown, Tom Robinson, Go West, Black, Gail Ann Dorsey, B J Cole, Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin, Nathan East, Yasuaki Shimizu, Camouflage, Kevin Ayers, Claudio Baglioni, Franco Battiato, Mick Karn, Eros Ramazzotti, Antoine Fafard, Nick Johnston.
In 2002 he joined Porcupine Tree.
In 2007 Gavin began a long term collaboration with singer/ bass player 05Ric which led to the release of three CDs, Drop (2007), Circles (2009) and The Man Who Sold Himself (2012).
In 2008, Gavin joined King Crimson as part of a dual-drummer line-up with Pat Mastelotto. Gavin played a number of shows in the United States in August with the band.
In 2011 he was a featured performer on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ as part of their second “Drum Solo Week”.
Since 2014, he plays live in the new formation of King Crimson, as one of the three drummers.
He is now a member of the band The Pineapple Thief and has worked on their last two albums “Your Wilderness” and the award winning “Dissolution”.
Harrison won the Modern Drummer readers’ poll for “best progressive drummer of the year” consecutively from 2007–2010 and again in 2016 and 2019 and they placed him in the “Top 50 Greatest Drummers of All Time”. He won “Best Prog Drummer” in DRUM USA magazine 2011. Best Prog Drummer 2011, 2012 & 2019 in Prog Magazine.
Gavin Harrison has authored two instructional drum books entitled Rhythmic Illusions and Rhythmic Perspectives. He also wrote and produced his own instructional DVDs, Rhythmic Visions and Rhythmic Horizons, at his home studio. 2010 saw the release of Rhythmic Designs, a book of transcriptions by Terry Branam, and a 3-hour DVD of Gavin’s explanations and demonstrations. It won ‘Best in Show’ at the summer NAMM show in the USA. 2014 was the release of Rhythmic Compositions: a book of 20 detailed drum transcriptions (by Terry Branam) of recorded Porcupine Tree performances.
Gavin’s most recent solo album “Cheating The Polygraph” released on Kscope records. Featuring some Porcupine Tree songs completely rearranged for modern contemporary big band by Laurence Cottle.