Bernie Dresel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bernie Dresel
Birth nameBernard John Dresel Jr.
Born(1961-11-12)November 12, 1961
Sharon, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresJazz, rock, rockabilly
Associated actsBrian Setzer, Gordon Goodwin

Bernard John Dresel Jr. (born November 12, 1961) is an American studio drummer and percussionist. He has been with multi-Grammy award-winning artists and recordings; most notably having performed and recorded extensively with The Brian Setzer Orchestra and Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. The BBB Featuring Bernie Dresel (his own big band) has been performing since 2014 in numerous, prominent venues in Los Angeles and has recorded two notable CDs. He has recorded on numerous television shows and close to 60 movie soundtracks to include The Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill, The Sopranos, Incredibles 2, The Bourne Supremacy, Cars 2, Up, Super 8, The Mask and Elf.


Early life and education[edit]

Dresel was born on November 12, 1961 in Sharon, Pennsylvania.[1] His parents gave him a toy paper-head drum kit at age two.[2] He was inspired by seeing Ringo Starr and the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show, received a copy of Meet The Beatles from his grandmother, and started drum lessons at the age of four and a half.[2][3] Through the age of seventeen, Dresel studied with Robert Bydell, the timpanist with the Youngstown Symphony.[3] He played music in elementary school programs and participated in drum corps ensembles.[3] In 1970 at age 10 he won three national drum competitions at the NBTA National Championship held at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana.[2] After graduating from high school in 1979 he enrolled in the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York to study orchestral drumming and majored in music education.[2] His younger brother, Jonathan Dresel, is a drummer who has performed on the television show Jimmy Kimmel Live.[3]

Move to Los Angeles[edit]

After graduating from Eastman in 1983, Dresel moved to Los Angeles. He intended to complete the California CBEST teaching certification test, but within three weeks he got a job at Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas supporting the Albaricci Sisters.[2] He went on tour for six months with The Lettermen and in 1986 with Maynard Ferguson. A former classmate at Eastman recommended him for a job in the studio band for the television show Our House. After that he became a session musician for television and films. He performed wit his idol Ringo Starr on the Dame Edna television series. He recorded on the Man of Steel soundtrack by Hans Zimmer.[4]

In 1992 Dresel was asked to join Brian Setzer's 16-piece rockabilly big band for two performances. Committed to a previously scheduled engagement, Dresel had to decline the first offer. Receiving a second call informing him that Setzer wanted him for an extended tour, he permanently joined the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Dresel recorded and toured with the Brian Setzer Orchestra over the next 15 years recording four albums (until 2006).[5] The triple-platinum album The Dirty Boogie was released in 1998 and reached number 9 on the Billboard Top 200 albums. The top 40 hit single from the album "Jump, Jive an' Wail" won the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and the song "Sleepwalk" won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. He recorded with Setzer on Ignition!, Nitro Burnin' Funny Daddy and Rockabilly Riot.[6][7][8]

Dresel was the drummer for Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band since its beginning in 2000 until 2015, appearing on ten recordings.[9] The Big Phat Band won three Grammy Awards in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011. Other albums Dresel appears on include David Byrne's The Forest (1998), Keiko Matsui's Cherry Blossoms (1992), Orange Crate Art (1995) by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, Andy Summers' Green Chimneys: The Music of Thelonious Monk (1999), Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway (2009) and Michael Feinstein's The Sinatra Project, Vol. 2: The Good Life (2011).

Since 2014 Dresel has been leading two bands: the funk band BERN and The BBB Featuring Bernie Dresel.[10][11][12][13] Dresel and Bill Cunliffe led the band Porcupine.[14]

Dresel has been on the faculty of University of Nevada Las Vegas and taught private lessons in Los Angeles. He created video lessons and wrote two Big Phat Band Play-Along Series (Volume 1 and Volume 2) for drums with Gordon Goodwin.[15] He has worked at educational conferences such as ASMAC, PASIC, and the Jazz Education Network.[16][17]

Awards and honors[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Grammy Award nominations[edit]

Other awards[edit]


As leader[edit]

  • Live N' Bernin' (Monster Music, 2016)
  • Bern Bern Bern (DIG-IT. 2018)

As sideman[edit]

With Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band

With Gloria Loring

  • Is There Anybody Out There (USA Music Group, 1994)
  • Friends & Lovers (LML, 2005)

With Keiko Matsui

  • Night Waltz (CGR, 1991)
  • Cherry Blossom (White Cat, 1992)
  • A Drop of Water (White Cat, 1993)
  • Dream Walk (Countdown, 1996)
  • Full Moon and the Shine (Countdown, 1998)

With Eddy Mitchell

  • Frenchy (Polydor, 2003)
  • Jambalaya (Polydor, 2006)
  • La Meme Tribu Volume 1+2 (Polydor, 2018)

With Van Dyke Parks

With Brian Setzer

With others

Film and television soundtracks[edit]




  1. ^ Roknick, Michael (22 May 2019). "Sharon native Bernie Dresel has the beat". The Sharon Herald. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bernie Dresel - Pittsburgh Music History". Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c d Krugman, Steve. "Bernie & Jonathan Dresel Interview". Hollywood Drum. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Superman-Film 'Man Of Steel': Hans Zimmer vereint zwölf Drummer zur 'Energiemaschine'". Rolling Stone. June 28, 2013.
  5. ^ Augusto, Troy J.; Augusto, Troy J. (August 7, 2000). "Brian Setzer Orchestra".
  6. ^ "Setzer Revisits The Trio With '68 Comeback Special". Billboard. 10 April 2001. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Billboard Bits: AC/DC, McCartney/Sting, Setzer". Billboard. 1 August 2003. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Reviews". Google Books. 6 August 2005. pp. 39–. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Murph, John (13 July 2014). "Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: Life In the Bubble". JazzTimes. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Hittin': Bernie Dressel at Vitello's". Hollywood Drum. 6 June 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Reed, Bobby (November 2018). "DownBeat Reviews". Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Harris, George (3 January 2019). "The BBB Featuring Bernie Dresel: BERN BERN BERN". JazzWeekly. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Potter, Jeff (May 2019). "New Releases by Kyle Crane, The BBB, Flav Martin, MewithoutYou, The Neal Morse Band, and more". Modern Drummer. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Porcupine Pair Don't Stick With the Norm". Los Angeles Times. 26 June 1993. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Enriquez, Aryssa (4 April 2019). "52nd Annual Jazz Festival features Bernie Dresel – The South Texan". The South Texan. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Bernie Dresel & Bern Bern Bern". ASMAC. October 9, 2018.
  17. ^ "Bernie Dresel (w/ the Airmen of Note)". PASIC. Retrieved 6 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ a b c "Gordon Goodwin". June 4, 2019.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "Brian Setzer Orchestra". June 4, 2019.
  20. ^ "1990 -2000: A Decade of Drumming!", Drum! Magazine, "53 Heavyweight Drummers Who Made a Difference in the 90's", February/March 2000 issue
  21. ^ Bernie Dresel was contacted and he sent an actual picture on Wednesday July 10, 2019 through email of his 2002 "Drummie Award"
  22. ^ Modern Drummer Magazine '99 Readers Poll Results Issue, July 1999 Edition, Readers poll section (awards)
  23. ^ Archive: Modern Drummer Magazine Big Band - Bernie Dresel, 1999 (awards)
  24. ^ "Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ DeRiso, Nick (August 2, 2015). "Brian Setzer Announces First Christmas Album in a Decade". Ultimate Classic Rock. Townsquare Media. Retrieved August 7, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]