In·spi·ra·tion n. 1. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity. 2. An
Agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect.
If you have met Will Kennedy or if you have seen him perform, you understand that inspiration and
Will Kennedy are inseparable, if not synonymous. Whether it is during his many years as a member of
Yellowjackets or one of the many artists he has recorded and toured with, Will has always been
credited for being the inspirational drive in the music. His musicality and finesse are legendary
amongst the “who’s who” of the music, drumming world and beyond.
Award winning talk shows for Television, House Band for Grammy Telecasts, Movie Soundtracks,
Recording Sessions are some of the music and production opportunities that Will participates.
Performances with Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Snarky Puppy, Bobby McFerrin, Esperanza Spalding,
George Benson, Lee Ritenour are a few of the wide range of artists that have requested the musical talents of Will Kennedy.
Will endorses some of the finest equipment manufacturers including Pearl Drums, D’Addario, Evans
Drumheads, ProMark Sticks, and Zildjian Cymbals. Giving back to young, up and coming musicians is a
high priority for Will. He has conducted drum clinics worldwide and has contributed educational
videos to the Internet and now Will is Assistant Professor of Practice at University Of Southern
California, Popular Music Department under Department Chair, Patrice Rushen.
Throughout his school years, Will played percussion and began private lessons with teacher and
motivator, Bill Nawrocki. Will also studied music in junior college under professor Bill Bell, who was
not only a Mentor to Will but became a second father and ultimately Bill Bell invited Will to perform
with him around the San Francisco Bay Area. Will quickly became a fixture in the San Francisco, Bay
Area scene and then was introduced to legendary Steel Pan Virtuoso, Andy Narell who Will later
recorded and toured Europe with at age 19. More time in the studio helped Will recognized his
fascination for composing which lead him to Pure Delite Music, a publishing company with long time
partners Claytoven and Larry Batiste. Pure Delite Music went on to contribute songs to various R&B
In 1988 Will auditioned for Yellowjackets. “I was a long time fan of the group and knew this
was something I just had to do”. Fiveteen Yellowjackets recordings with two Grammy Awards speak
Will Kennedy; a musician striving to push the boundaries in music; desiring to learn, grow, be
inspired yet be an inspiration !