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Kobie Watkins

Sonny Rollins — Visit Kobie's website


Kobie Watkins
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Kobie began as a small child
listening and watching his father (Alious C. Watkins) playing drums in
the church. Kobie started with pots and pans as a toddler. Yet over
time he has developed a personal system of timely discipline and
structure for music and life skill. He has progressed into who he is
today-- professional drummer/percussionist and music educator.
Pursuing his true passion and enhancing his talent through education,
Kobie attended Vandercook College of Music studying all forms and
genres of the percussion family with Marc “Max” Jacoby (vibraphonist/
mallet) and Kevin Lepper (percussionist), both teachers igniting him to
reach greater achievements and goals. While learning percussion and
all other instruments, Kobie’s extra curricular time was spent playing
jazz standards and trading solo-s with alto saxophonist Dennis
Winslett. Kobie could also be found playing in local theatre and cabaret
shows. In 1998, Kobie played in the Walt Disney World American All-
Star Band in Magic Kingdom (Orlando, Fl).
Conferred with a Bachelors of Music Education in 1999, Kobie became
a public school band / music teacher by day, by night he played gigs
around the Chicago land area and throughout the United States. Kobie
eventually became known as the “Swing Master” of Chicago. He was
depicted in a front-page article in the Joliet, Illinois’- “Herald”, -a local
newspaper titled, “Teacher has Alter Ego as Jazz Musician.”
-Kobie received his Masters of Music from Northwestern University in
Jazz Pedagogy 2003.
Kobie has cultivated dynamic relationships with his peers in and out of
the Jazz, Latin, and Gospel community as a drummer, percussionist
and a mentor. Living out his commitment to the music he holds a long
list of great musicians he has played and recorded with- jazz legend
Sonny Rollins, Curtis Fuller, Arturo Sandoval, George Coleman, Ira
Sullivan, Sonny Fortune, including
Kurt Elling, Fred Anderson, Ari Brown, Willie Pickens, Bobby Broom,
Orbert Davis, Ken Chaney, Ron Perrillo, Bethany Pickens, Ryan Cohan,
Dennis Winslett, Jarrard Harris and James Austin. Additionally, Gospel
singer Kim Burrell, R&B and Neo Soul artists Julie Dexter, Javier,
Kendra Ross, Chris Robinson, and many others. Kobie has toured
extensively in Africa, Europe, Asia, Canada, South America and the
United States.
Kobie’s educational and mentoring relationships include working with
Wynton Marsalis at Martin Luther King High School (Chicago Il.) a
clinic for high schooler’s aspiring to play jazz. The Ravinia mentors
program for the Chicago Public High School students, and “Attention
for Boys” a MusicAlive mentoring and teaching program, founded by
Orbert Davis and Mark Ingram for inner-city youth ages 8 to 18 years.
Additionally, since 2004 Kobie has played with a band leading teens in
worship at a Christian Teen Camp in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. His
experiences include a rich mosaic of styles, genres, interests and
Kobie is currently touring with Jazz Legend Sonny Rollins.


  • Involved Kobie Watkins 2009 (Album Debut)
  • Bobby Broom Play’s for Monk 2009
  • Song and Dance & The Way I PlayBobby Broom20072008
  • One SkyRyan Cohan2007
  • Bethany Pickens‐ Bethany Pickens2007
  • No Passport Required ‐ Sergio Pires & Bobby Broom2007
  • Spring Thing Ken Chaney2006
  • Jazz Spirit Vol. I & II, Southport Records 2006 Willie Pickens
  • Mercury Rising, Motion Picture Soundtrack Recording, 1997

Drumhead Setup

Snare - Jack DeJohnette
Toms - Jack DeJohnette on top, Classic Clears on bottom
Bass Drum - Jack DeJohnette

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