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Billy Cobham’s Crosswinds Project
October 1 @ 8:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Billy will be traversing through most of the USA on this tour hitting major spots like Seattle’s Jazz Alley, Oakland’s Yoshis, Chicago and DC’s City Winery, New York’s Sony Hall and many more in between. Asked why the extensive run and his wife Faina tells us “it’s a celebration of life, of course”.
“Billy has been an inspiration to me since I started playing drums” says Jeff Epstein, Billy’s agent and co-owner of Universal Attractions Agency. “We are honored to be working with Billy, he’s a legend, an educator, and a really nice guy!! I’ve enjoyed my many zooms with Billy and his wife over the last year while we were planning this tour.”
William E. Cobham was born on May 16, 1944, in Panama where he grew fond of percussion from watching his cousin play. At age three, his family moved to New York City and at age eight Billy made his percussion performance debut with his father. Growing up, Billy played in the St. Catherine’s Queensmen at the High School of Music and Art. After graduating, Billy served as a percussionist in the U.S. Army National band. He then played as a drummer in pianist Horace Silver’s band and toured the U.S. with him throughout the late 1960s. He left to partake in Miles Davis’ fusion ensemble where he can be heard on Davis classics such as ‘Like-Evil’ and ‘A Tribute to Jack Johnson’. Eventually Cobham parted ways from Davis’ group to work with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, where he was able to further explore his technique and fusion style which influenced many for years to come.
After deciding to part ways with the Orchestra, Cobham started his own band, Spectrum and signed with Atlantic Records. Spectrum’s debut album featured a mix of jazz, funk and rock that allowed Cobham to further experiment with percussion. In 1975, Cobham released “A Funky Thide of Sings” moving into commercial jazz exclusively. In 1977, Cobham left Atlantic and signed to CBS label which allowed him to reach the commercial success he had always wanted. Cobham focused on his opportunities as a session drummer and other side opportunities after leaving CBS, such as drumming for the Grateful Dead’s side project Bobby & the Midnites. In 1988, Cobham helped start a group called ‘Jazz is Dead’ which reprised Grateful Dead music with jazz iterations.
In 2001 Cobham was named one of the 25 Most Influential Drummers by Modern Drummer magazine. He paved the way for future drummers by changing the way percussion is set up, the way it is played and enjoyed. In 2001 Cobham released “Drum ‘n Voice 1” which was his return to the 1970s jazz-funk sound and then in 2006 Cobham released “Drum ‘n Voice 2” eventually Cobham released his follow up record “Drum ‘n Voice 3” in 2009. In 2011 Cobham started teaching drums online at the Billy Cobham School of Drums which is an ArtistWorks Drum Academy. In 2018 Cobham toured across the US a performance series with “Crosswinds Project” which was his way of revisiting his second album, Crosswinds. The tour re-comprised his original work from the 1970’s which continued into 2019 and now again in 2022. Not one to miss a beat, Billy kept busy during the pandemic recording and even playing some shows. Cobham continues to tour worldwide.
Billy says of his upcoming trek “It’ will be great to be back on the road. I’ve really missed it. I am looking forward to seeing all of the US and my fans and celebrating life. I will be 78 years young when the tour commences and would like to reflect upon the experience once the tour is successfully completed!!”
From a recent show, Martin Longley, Jazz Wise, September 21 2021 writes:
Billy Cobham Blasts Off At Sicilia Jazz Festival – The legendary jazz rock drummer shakes things up in Palermo, Italy – His massive rock-style drumkit has two bass drums, and a fast-breeding spread of snares, toms, and six cymbals, with barely enough space on his riser to house them all. Consequently, his sound is massive, a signature boom-quake…
Crosswinds Band consists of:
Billy Cobham – Drums
Scott Tibbs – Keyboards
Tim Landers – Bass
Mark Whitfield – Guitar
Paul Hanson – Bassoon/Sax
Tickets go on sale for most cities on April 29. Tour dates are below and more are being added. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.billycobham.com.