World-reknowned rhythm master Billy Ward began formal drum lessons when he was nine years old. Growing up in the Cincinnati Ohio area, Billy was influenced by all kinds of music from Miles Davis and Charles Mingus to The Who and James Brown. Billy's early drum influences were Elvin Jones, Mel Lewis and Papa Jo Jones.
After leaving North Texas State's music program early, Billy moved to New York where he began working immediately and began to develop his career as a professional musician.
In the past decade, Billy has spent most of his time recording and touring. He has worked with many well known, talented artists such as Bill Evans, Jim Beard, Leni Stern, George Russell, Jimmy Webb, Carly Simon, Richard Marx, Ace Frehley, Joan Osborne, Bill Champlin, Yoko Ono, The Knack, Chris Whitley, John Patitucci and Robbie Robertson. In addition, Billy's playing can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks.
In May of 2000, Billy performed at Modern Drummer Magazine's Festival where he totally impressed and inspired the audience with his musicality and presentation of rhythmic concepts. Billy has also proven himself to be a potent drum clinician and teacher. He currently serves on the advisory board for Modern Drummer Magazine. Check out his frequently running "Concepts" column in M.D. where he imparts musical wisdom and rhythmic ideas for drummers.
In 2004, Billy released his long-anticipated DVD "Big Time" with a concept unlike anything else available in an instructional DVD. This DVD won the 2005 Modern Drummer Magazine's Readers Poll Award for best Instructional Video of '04. Be sure to check it out!
Billy Ward proudly endorses Zildjian cymbals and he plays a variety of models including the K Custom, A Zildjian and K Zildjian ranges.