Billy Ward
August 24, 1952
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Zoro



© Anthony Dalton





Billy Ward Trio: Barry Coates - Bill Urmson
MD FESTIVAL 2008


Billy Ward
Modern Drummer Festival 2000


Billy Ward
Groovin'


Billy Ward
Drum Solo



Billy Ward
Moving Around The Set



Billy Ward
Paradiddles










Billy Ward...
Billy Ward is from Cincinnati Ohio. When he was nine, he began formal drum lessons with well-known local drummer, Jack Volk. "Mr. Volk was a stickler for holding the sticks properly, reading music and independence. He was a great teacher." While in the fifth grade, Billy began playing with local bands. Billy listened to, and tried to play, all kinds of music; from James Brown to Miles Davis; The Who to Charles Mingus.

At the age of fifteen, Billy got his first studio experience when he became the house drummer for a local Cincinnati gospel recording studio/label. While attending The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Billy says: "I had a technical gig mixing the sound at a Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis concert in Cincinnati and I met Mel Lewis, who said I needed to go to New York (to Frank Ippolito's Drum Shop) to get a set of K. Zildjian (Istanbul) cymbals. This was during the early 70's. In New York, I selected a set of K's with assistance from Papa Jo Jones, who was just hangin' out at the shop that day!!!"

"I also got an extremely influencial drum lesson with Elvin Jones that, due to his generosity, lasted six hours! I will always be indebted to Mr. Jones for the many gifts he shared that day." Billy quit the conservatory in the second year when he realized that he wanted to play jazz and rock. "Counting two hundred and ten measures to play a two measure chime part wasn't my thing." His symphonic career ended, it was off to North Texas State University; a jazz school that emphasized playing.

"I was too stubborn and headstrong to participate anymore in a college program, so I quit NTSU after one week....but lived there and played in the Dallas / Fort Worth area four years before coming to New York. All I did was practice- practice- practice ... wierd stuff too (largely thanks to a Northern Indian Nonesuch record that I fell in love with) seven over five over three kind of stuff! I then believed that jazz, or improvised music, was the only real art form. I now know I was way off base. The world is round, not flat, and there are many ways to create art."

When Billy moved to New York, he started working around town playing in local groups and mostly earned his living playing in local groups, including wedding bands. Eventually, his playing became more seasoned and improved along with the work he was getting.

In the last fifteen years Billy has toured and /or recorded (among others) with jazz artists Jim Beard, Bill Evans Supergroup, Leni Stern, B.B. King, George Russell and Living Time Orchestra, pop artists The Knack, Jimmy Webb, Carly Simon, Richard Marx, ex-KISS star Ace Frehley's Comet, and unclassifiable talents like Bill Champlin, Robbie Robertson, Yoko Ono, and Chris Whitley. Most recently Billy completed a year and a half tour with singer Joan Osborne.
Source: billyward.com

















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© Paul La Raia





performed with:

Journeyman
Joan Osborne
B.B. King
Jack Petruzzelli
Andrew Carillo
Andy Hess
Bill Champlin
Robbie Robertson
Jim Beard
Carly Simon
George Russell
Bill Evans
Richard Marx
Bill Evans Supergroup
Leni Stern
Living Time Orchestra
The Knack
Jimmy Webb
Carly Simon
Yoko Ono
Chris Whitley
Jon Pusette-Dart

.....and many more







2005
Modern Drummer
Readers Poll

No. 1
Educational DVD














Modern Drummer Festival 2000






























© Bernhard Castiglioni - drummerworld.com


© Ronn Dunnett



Recording Sessions with Blues Great, B.B. King
for his Grammy award winning album, "80".
Gloria Estefan - Billy Ward - B.B. King - guitarist Larry Cambell






© Ronn Dunnett






Billy Ward -
Drummerworld Team Jason Horsler - Bernhard Castiglioni
Drummer Live 2006 London


Tris Imboden - Billy Ward



NAMM 2006: Stanton Moore - Ronn Dunnett - Billy Ward



Billy Ward - Thomas Brumley (Drummerworld)
NAMM 2008



Billy Ward - Bernhard (Drummerworld)
NAMM Show 2008