Sean J. Kennedy Biography (short)
American Drum Set and Percussion artist Sean J. Kennedy is the drummer for The Gardyn Jazz Orchestra and The Doc Severinsen Tribute Band, featuring Jay Webb and has been principal percussionist with the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale since 2004. He is a multi-faceted musician who is equally accomplished on the stage, in the recording studio, and in the classroom. He has performed on drumset and percussion receiving standing ovations at sold-out venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall with world renowned acts like Il Volo, Roger Daltry and The Who, Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling, The Philly POPS! Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The Jacksonville Symphony, The Strauss Symphony of America, The Allentown Band, The Allentown Symphony Orchestra, and The Lancaster Symphony Orchestra. Kennedy was appointed to the Percussive Arts Society Drum Set Committee in 2021, is the author of numerous drum set, percussion and improv books and in 2018 was invited to present a TEDx Talk about the history of the drumset, titled: Happy Accidents: Drumming Up Serendipity. Jazz legend Dave Brubeck stated that Sean’s drumming, “… sounds like it should—it swings!”
What They're Saying...
Your drumming sounds like it should, it swings!
..intense and sometimes far-out live performances…
The Philadelphia Inquirer
...organic grooves with a great feel. You're going to swear Sean grew up around the Mississippi Delta.
There are a lot of onions on this young man’s cheesesteak...
...creatively new, but built on solid foundations of traditional jazz.
|Tours that Sean has performed on...
|Il Volo "Notte Magica"
|Salute to Vienna
|Video Games Live
|Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebrations with Warren Haynes
|Roger Daltry and The Who
|Lindsey Stirling & Evanescence
Il Volo Sings Morricone
Sean J. Kennedy Biography (long)
American Drum Set and Percussion artist Sean J. Kennedy is the drummer for The Doc Severinsen Tribute Band, featuring Jay Webb and has been principal percussionist with the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale since 2004. He is a multi-faceted musician who is equally accomplished on the stage, in the recording studio, and in the classroom. He has performed on drumset and percussion with The Philly POPS! Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The Jacksonville Symphony, The Allentown Band, The Allentown Symphony Orchestra, The Lancaster Symphony Orchestra. Tours have include performances with Italian operatic pop trio Il Volo, Roger Daltrey and members of The Who, The Strauss Symphony of America, Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling, Rocktopia Live, Video Games Live Orchestra with Tommy Tallarico, and Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebrations with Warren Haynes. In 2018 Kennedy was invited to present a TEDx Talk about the history of the drum set, titled: Happy Accidents: Drumming Up Serendipity. In June of 2021, Kennedy was appointed to the Percussive Arts Society Drum Set Committee.
With the onset of the national shutdown in spring of 2020 Kennedy organized a highly successful all-star virtual ensemble, The Rolling Buzzards Brigade, featuring his new arrangements of classic rudimental drum solos like The Downfall of Paris, The Three Camps and The Connecticut Halftime. The group has been featured in International Musician Magazine, Drummer Nation, WLRH | Huntsville Public Radio, IrishPhilly, MakingMusicMagazine, and The Classical Network's award winning program Cadenza. The ensemble includes some of the best percussion and brass players on the planet, including drummers Bernie Dresel, Clayton Cameron and brass phenoms Chris Coletti and Nitzan Haroz.
Kennedy has made several appearances on NBC television and ABC’s Good Morning America live from Times Square in New York City, and has appeared on Broadway at the Beacon Theatre, and on some of the nation's most prestigious stages, including Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Avery Fischer/David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Central Park SummerStage, Atlanta Symphony Hall, and Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen at Disneyland, just to name a few.
Kennedy is also the author of numerous drumset, percussion and improv books including: Help! I'm not a drummer! [...but I have some in my ensemble.], I Used to Play Drums, Improvising and Soloing In The Pocket, Sixty Second Solos, and Camp Jam: Rock Solid Drums which was nominated as Educational Drum Book of the Year in the 2011 Modern Drummer Magazine reader’s poll. As a prominent composer, his works have premiered at Carnegie Hall, the Corning Museum of Glass, Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center, and Iglesia San Pedro de Montes de Oca, in Costa Rica. Two of his most popular jazz compositions were recently selected to be included in the new Philadelphia Real Book, Vol II.
In demand as a clinician, he has led master classes and workshops in high schools, colleges jazz camps and at conventions throughout Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and California. His original percussion compositions, lauded by the likes of Dame Evelyn Glennie, are used in regional, state and national scholastic competitions throughout the United States. To expand his educational impact on budding musicians, Kennedy also produces and hosts a music industry podcast, Backstage at The Enharmonic. Notable guests include Hal Blaine, Gordon Goodwin and Harold Jones.
Having received multiple honors and distinctions throughout his career, Kennedy was honored as a distinguished alumni of The West Chester University School of Music on the college's online Spotlight Series in 2016. Kennedy earned a master’s degree in Percussion Performance and a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from West Chester University, and is an Artist Endorser for Canopus Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Ludwig-Musser Percussion, Casio Keyboards, One Beat Better, Grover Pro Percussion, The Drum Wallet and Evans Drumheads. He is also a member of the American Federation of Musicians, is a registered composer, songwriter, and publisher with Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and is a voting member of the Recording Academy (NARAS).
|Small Group Jazz and Funk Set-Up
1- 14" K CONSTANTINOPLE SERIES HI-HATS
2- 20" K CUSTOM LEFT SIDE RIDE WITH 3 RIVETS
3- 22" K CONSTANTINOPLE RENAISSANCE RIDE or 20 K CUSTOM LIGHT FLAT RIDE WITH 3 RIVETS
4- 18" K CONSTANTINOPLE CRASH
5- 20" K CONSTANTINOPLE BOUNCE RIDE WITH 3 RIVETS
Big Band Jazz Set-Up
1- 14" A ZILDJIAN NEW BEAT HI-HATS
2- 18" A ZILDJIAN MEDIUM THIN CRASH
3- 21" A ZILDJIAN SWEET RIDE BRILLIANT FINISH
4- 16" A ZILDJIAN MEDIUM THIN CRASH
Here is a short list of some of the artists and groups that Sean J. Kennedy has had the privilege of performing with...
|Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
|Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra
|Il Volo, Gianluca Ginoble, Piero Barone, and Ignazio Boschetto
|The Philly POPS! Orchestra
|Bernard “Pretty” Purdie
|Tito Puente, Jr.
|The Philadelphia Boys Choir, under Jeff Smith and Robert Hamilton
|The Philadelphia Choral Arts Society
|The Allentown Band
|The Strauss Symphony of America
|Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel
|Colonel John Bourgeois
|Colonel Tim Foley
|W. Francis McBeth
|The Savoy Company [Gilbert and Sullivan]
|New York Musical Theatre Workshop
|Jack Wall and Tommy Tallorico and The Video Games Live Orchestra
|Tim Price and Jazz-A-Delic
|City Rhythm Orchestra
|The Suzie Brown Band
|Allentown Symphony Orchestra
|The Cape May Pops
|Lancaster Symphony Orchestra
|Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan & Dolph Lundgren (SJK was a background actor in the 2018 movie Creed 2)
|Gardyn Jazz Orchestra
|Doc Severisen Tribute Band
|Roger Daltrey and The Who
|...just to name a few.
Here is a short list of some of the venues that Sean J. Kennedy has performed at...
|Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center, NYC
|Radio City Music Hall
|Grand Theater, Foxwoods Casino, CT
|State Theater, Easton, PA
|Theater at National Harbor, MGM, Oxon Hill, MD
|Central Park SummerStage, NYC
|Santander Performing Arts Center, Reading, PA
|PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
|Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia
|The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC
|The Berklee School of Music, Boston, MA
|Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA
|The State Theater of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ
|Chris' Jazz Cafe, Philadelphia, PA
|World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA
|Villanova Universtiy, Villanova, PA
|Busch Gardens, Orlando, FL
|The Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA
|Deep Blue, Wilmington DE
|Allentown Symphony Hall, Allentown, PA
|EPCOT Center, Orlando, FL
|Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, Allentown, PA
|The Cutting Room, NYC
|Drummers Collective, NYC
|St. Mark's Church, Philadelphia, PA
|The Capital Rotunda, Harrisburg, PA
|Alois, Mt. Joy, PA
|The Arts Scene, West Chester, PA
|Bethlehem Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA
|The Promenade, Marlton, NJ
|The Vespers Club, Philadelphia, PA
|Williams Center for the Arts, Easton, PA
|Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
|Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA
|Ursinus College, Collegville, PA
|The DeMoss Center Auditorium, Newtown Square, PA
|Fairfield-Ludlowe Auditorium, Fairfield Conneticut
|Mitchell Center for the Performing Arts, Bryn Athyn, PA
|WRDV-FM Studios, Hatboro, PA
|New Hope, PA
|Crystal Tea Room, Philadelphia
|Washington's Crossing open-air Theater, NJ
|Independence Visitor's Center, Philadelphia
|Penn's Landing, Philadelphia
|Vet's Stadium, Philadelphia, PA
|Union League, Philadelphia
|Irvine Auditorium at The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
|Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA
|Hershey Convention Center, Hershey, PA
|Puck Live, Doylestown, PA
|Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA
|NBC Studios, Philadelphia
|Various Casinos in Atlantic City, NJ
|Calvert Hall, Baltimore, MD
|The Daily Grind, Hatboro, PA
|Grace Presbyterian Church, Jenkintown, PA
|Haverford School, Haverford, PA
|Jefferson House, Norristown, PA
|Montgomery Mall, North Wales, PA
|Moore College of Art and Design, Center City Philadelphia
|Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Center City Philadelphia
|Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, PA
|Summerfield Suites, Plymouth Meeting, PA
|Vicmead Hunt Club, Wilmington, DE
|Villanova Law School, Villanova, PA
|West End Grille, West Conshohocken, PA
|Willard Intercontinental Hotel, Washington, DC
|Willow Grove Baptist Church, Willow Grove, PA
|Yellow Springs Art Gallery, Yellow Springs, PA
Beacon Street Theater, NYC
|Embreeville State School and Hospital
|Whitemarsh Memorial Park, Horsham, PA
|Mayfair Lake Side Stage, Allentown, PA
|The Colonial Theatre, Phoenixville, PA
|ABC Studios, Times Square, NYC, live on "Good Morning America"
|Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, Disneyland, Anaheim, CA
|Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA
|The Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
|Temple University Performing Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA
|Bldg 24, Reading, PA
|The Vault, Yardley, PA
|Cape May Convention Center, Cape May NJ
|Fulton Theater, Lancaster, PA
|Lancaster Bible College
|Constellation Brands–Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center: CMAC
|BB&T Pavilion, Camden, NJ
|The Xfinity Cente, Mansfield, MA
|Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA
|Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT
|Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
|Wind Creek Event Center
|...just to name a few!