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Kenny Aronoff
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: Independent Recording & Touring Artist
  • Country: United States

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Kenny Aronoff is one of the world's most influential and in-demand drummers. The list of artists he's worked with reads like a who's who of the music industry, and includes John Mellencamp, The Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Seger, Melissa Etheridge, Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Alanis Morissette, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Avril Lavigne, John Fogerty, Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger, Alice Cooper, Meat Loaf, Bonnie Raitt, Ricky Martin, Santana, Trey Anastasio, Michelle Branch, and many others. With a style of playing that combines power and finesse, Kenny was named the #1 Pop/Rock Drummer and the #1 Studio Drummer for five consecutive years by the readers of Modern Drummer Magazine, and in addition has played on over 30 Grammy-nominated recordings.

Growing up in Massachusetts, Kenny joined his first band at age ten. A self-taught drummer, he played in local bands throughout junior high and high school. At 16, he decided to focus on classical music and began to study seriously with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He went on to study at the University of Massachusetts and at Indiana University, where, among other honors, he was awarded the school's prestigious Performer's Certificate. During summer breaks he participated in the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals.

After graduating from IU in 1976, Kenny passed on offers of timpani positions in several symphony orchestras and decided to head to the east coast, where he studied drum set in Boston and New York. During this time he began to concentrate on jazz and fusion music, and in 1977 he returned to Bloomington, Indiana and spent several years in a popular local band, playing throughout the Midwest. In 1980 he joined the John Mellencamp band, recording 10 albums and touring with him over a 17-year period. Kenny's innovative style and solid backbeat became the driving force behind Mellencamp's long run of definitive hit records in the '80's and '90s, a list that includes "American Fool", "Scarecrow", "Uh Huh", "The Lonesome Jubilee", "Whenever We Wanted", "Dance Naked", "Big Daddy", "Human Wheels" and others.

In the mid-80s, Kenny began to develop an enormously successful career as a studio musician. Today he is among the world's most in-demand session drummers, having played on hundreds of records. Recent recording projects include Rod Stewart, Avril Lavigne, Meat Loaf, John Fogerty, Tony Iommi and Melissa Etheridge. He has also performed live and toured worldwide with many artists including The Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Seger, Melissa Etheridge, John Fogerty, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson and Michelle Branch.

From 1993 to 1997, he was an Associate Professor of Percussion at Indiana University.

Whether it's recording, touring, drum clinics or his instructional DVDs and books, Kenny brings tremendous drive, enthusiasm and creativity to everything he does.

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