Sean J. Kennedy Biography (short)

Sean J. Kennedy is a multi-faceted musician, equally accomplished on the stage, in the recording studio, and in the classroom.  He has performed on drumset and percussion with Il Volo, The Philly POPS! Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The Jacksonville Symphony, The Strauss Symphony of America, The Allentown Band, The Allentown Symphony Orchestra, The Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and is principal drumset player with the Cape May Pops and the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale.  Kennedy is also the author of numerous drumset, percussion and improv books.  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!
Dave Brubeck

..intense and sometimes far-out live performances…
The Philadelphia Inquirer

..very soulful...
Will Lee

...organic grooves with a great feel. You're going to swear Sean grew up around the Mississippi Delta.
DrummerCafe.com

There are a lot of onions on this young man’s cheesesteak...
DRUM! Magazine

...creatively new, but built on solid foundations of traditional jazz.
Jazzreview.com

Sean J. Kennedy Biography (long)

The American drum set player, percussionist, recording artist, author, and educator Sean J. Kennedy was born in Philadelphia. 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 and is principal drumset player with the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale. Tours have include performances with Italian operatic pop trio Il Volo, Roger Daltrey and members of The Who, The Strauss Symphony of America, Rocktopia Live, Video Games Live Orchestra with Tommy Tallarico, and Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebrations with Warren Haynes. 

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 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 been 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.

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 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).




 
 

JAZZ SET-UPS

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- 20" K CUSTOM LEFT SIDE RIDE WITH 3 RIVETS
3- 20" A ZILDJIAN PING RIDE or 20" A ZILDJIAN CUSTOM FLAT RIDE WITH 9 RIVETS
4- 18" K CUSTOM DARK CRASH
5- 22" A ZILDJIAN SWISH KNOCKER 




ROCK 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...
 

Tours
Il Volo "Notte Magica" 
Salute to Vienna 
Video Games Live
Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebrations with Warren Haynes
Rocktopia

 

Artists
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra
Il Volo, Gianluca Ginoble, Piero Barone, and Ignazio Boschetto
Rachel Zatcoff
Lindsay Roberts
The Philly POPS! Orchestra
Liberty DeVitto
Richie Cannata
Ricky Byrd
Tommy Campbell
Bob Mintzer
Frederick Fennell
Donald Nally
The Philadelphia Boys Choir, under Jeff Smith and Robert Hamilton
The Philadelphia Choral Arts Society
The Allentown Band
Larry McKenna
Ernie Watts
Tim Price
The Strauss Symphony of America
Ivan Bodley
Frosty Lawson
Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel
Colonel John Bourgeois
Colonel Tim Foley
W. Francis McBeth
Kevin Cotellese
Anthony Viscounte
James Judy
Boston Ballet
The Savoy Company [Gilbert and Sullivan]
New York Musical Theatre Workshop
Steve Lippia
Will Lee
Jack Wall and Tommy Tallorico and The Video Games Live Orchestra
Hickory Brass
Tim Price and Jazz-A-Delic
City Rhythm Orchestra
Eric Marienthal
Jerry Vivino
Gary Smulyan
The Suzie Brown Band
Mike Merritt
Michael Amante
Poperazzi!
Jeff Sipe
Warren Haynes
Hugh Panaro
The Cape May Pops
Rocktopia
Ray Gelato
Corky Siegel 
Lancaster Symphony Orchestra
Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan & Dolph Lundgren (SJK was a background actor in the 2018 movie Creed 2)
...just to name a few.

Here is a short list of some of the venues that Sean J. Kennedy has performed at...

Venues
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
...just to name a few!