Originally from Brownsville, Pennsylvania, Vinnie Colaiuta began playing drums as a child and received his first full drum kit at age 14. After attending the Berklee College of Music for a year, Colaiuta moved to LA. In April 1978 at the age 22, he auditioned for Frank Zappa became his principal drummer for studio and live performances. Colaiuta performed on Zappa's Tinsel Town Rebellion, Joe's Garage, and Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar LPs. After Zappa, Colaiuta worked with a Joni Mitchell,Jeff Beck, Gino Vannelli, Barbra Streisand, Wang Chung, Chaka Khan, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Haslip, Quincy Jones, the Buddy Rich Big Band, and more.
In 1990, Colaiuta joined Sting's touring band for a 7 year stint. Colaiuta's studio work with Sting is on the LPs Ten Summoner's Tales (1993), Mercury Falling (1996), three songs on Brand New Day (1999) and two songs on Sacred Love (2003). Colaiuta released a self-titled solo recording in 1994. He is one of the most in demand studio musicians playing on albums, film soundtracks, TV and radio jingles today.
Colaiuta has won a total of 18 'Drummer of the Year' awards from Modern Drummer magazine's annual reader polls. These include 10 awards in the 'Best Overall' category. Colaiuta was inducted into the Modern Drummer "Hall of Fame" in 1996. The publication also cited Colaiuta as being the most important drummer of our time.