Born into a family of ten children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Humphries began playing drums at age four, and went professional at age 14. He led an ensemble at Carnegie Hall at age 16. Early in the 1960s, he began touring with jazz musicians; one of his more prominent gigs was in a trio with Stanley Turrentine and Shirley Scott in 1962. In 1964, he played with Horace Silver, including on the album Song for My Father. Following this Humphries drummed with Ray Charles and toured all over the world.
Humphries’s list of credits in jazz, R&B, and pop is extensive. Musicians he has played with, in addition to the above, include Lee Morgan, Grant Green, Billy Taylor, Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, Jon Faddis, Clark Terry, and the list goes on and on. Humphries is considered one of the best drummers in the world. His new CD will be released in June 2011.