Billy Kilson the Pots and Pans Drummer

Written By Sonny Akbar Sembada

Hi, my name is Sonny Akbar Sembada and I welcome you to my blog, The Uncle Jazz. The main topic of my blog is everything related to jazz music.. 

Billy Kilson the pots and pans drummer, like many young drummers, began his musical journey in his mother’s kitchen, playing pots and pans. Born on August 2, 1962, Kilson’s love for drums started to grow alongside his own development. Pots, pans, wooden branches, and sticks were used to create rhythmic beats.

Billy Kilson the Pots and Pans Drummer Journey

Recognizing his son’s interest in music, Billy’s mother enrolled him in trumpet lessons, later transitioning to the trombone. His longing for drums persisted, and eventually, for his sixteenth birthday, he received his first drum set as a gift.

This gift came with the condition that he had to maintain good grades in school. Kilson fulfilled this part of the deal and graduated with honors, utilizing every spare moment to pursue his passion for playing the drums.

Dedication and Hard Work

Billy the pots and pans drummer immediately set out to hone the skills he developed playing pots and pans. Realizing that he had to work against time, as most professional musicians start lessons on their chosen instruments in elementary school, he faced a challenge. By the time they reach high school, many are already semi-professional.

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Starting at the relatively late age of 16, Billy recalls, “I practiced up to 14 hours a day. That’s the only way. No shortcuts. I had to juggle it between classes and other responsibilities. But throughout college and the early post-college years, I aimed to spend 14 hours a day playing the drums.”

Diverse Influences and Musical Styles

Billy the pots and pans drummer learned to play in various styles. Inspired by funk and R&B music, he listened to groups like Sly and the Family Stone, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Parliament & Funkadelic, playing along with their recordings. “I listened to everything. Because most of my early playing was self-taught, I think that’s the key to a diverse playing style.

Diverse Influences and Musical Styles
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I was exposed to many different playing styles. My father loved music, and on Saturdays, his favorite thing was to listen to music all day. He had a vast record collection ranging from artists like Count Basie and Duke Ellington to Junior Walker and James Brown. Because I was exposed to so much, I learned to play many styles.”

Notable Career and Collaborations

Kilson gained recognition, particularly for his work with Dave Holland. He played on the Grammy-nominated album “Prime Directive” in 1999 and Holland’s Grammy-winning release, “What Goes Around,” in 2002.

Billy Kilson the pots and pans drummer also leads his own quartet with James Genus and Tim Hagans. His debut album as a bandleader, “Pots and Pans,” was released in 2006.

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