Kobie Watkins

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Kobie Watkins
Born (1975-07-26) July 26, 1975 (age 48)
OriginChicago, Illinois United States
GenresHard bop
Progressive jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, Composer
LabelsOrigin Records

Kobie Watkins (born July 26, 1975) is an American drummer and percussionist in Jazz, Latin, and Gospel music genres, and a music educator.


Kobie Watkins was born July 26, 1975, in Chicago. He began as a small child listening and watching his father, Alious C. Watkins, who was a drummer for their church.[1]

Watkins studied percussion at Vandercook College of Music with vibraphonist Marc Max Jacoby and percussionist Kevin Lepper at school by day. By night, Watkins spent time playing jazz with alto saxophonist Dennis Winslett, performing in the pit at local theaters and performed for cabaret shows. He earned his bachelor's degree in music education from Vandercook in 1999. He received his Master of Music from Northwestern University in jazz pedagogy in 2003.

He became a public school band director. At night, he played gigs around the Chicago area and throughout the United States. Watkins developed the nickname the Swing Master of Chicago. He was depicted in a front-page article in the Joliet, Illinois’- Herald, -a local newspaper titled, "Teacher has Alter Ego as Jazz Musician."[2]


Side man[edit]

Watkins has played in groups on stage and in recordings for:

Kobie has toured extensively in Africa, Europe, Asia, Canada, South America and the United States.

As music educator[edit]

Watkins worked with Wynton Marsalis at Martin Luther King High School in Chicago, IL. at a clinic for high school students learning Jazz. He worked with the Ravinia mentors program of the Chicago Public High School system, as well as "Attention for Boys" a MusicAlive mentoring and teaching program that was started by Orbert Davis and Mark Ingram for inner-city youth ages 8 to 18 years.[3]

Since 2004, Watkins led a teen band in worship at a Christian Teen Camp in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He works with the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensembles in North Carolina.


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ "Kobie Watkins". Kobiewatkins.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Kobie Watkins: Involved". All About Jazz. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  3. ^ Records, Origin. "Origin Records Artist Kobie Watkins - Drums". Originarts.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.