Billy's Bio

Born: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Just moved to Nashville, TN, USA

Billy Ward is one of those rare talents that is able to “do it” (performing) as well as “teach it”(music educator). As an educator, Billy has performed in drum clinics and master classes all over the world; including The Montreal Drum Festival, Rhythm In Bath (England), Percussive Arts Society International Conference, Cape Breton International Drum Festival (Nova Scotia), Drummer Live (England), Musikmesse (Frankfurt), MusicScene (Australia) and twice has performed at the Modern Drummer Festival.  In 2005, Billy also served as an Artist In Residence at the Rhythm Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark. As a drum clinician, Billy emphasizes a more musical approach to drumming while at the same time re-enforcing the importance of drumming and musical fundamentals. He offers a very articulate real world approach in his teaching.

Billy’s book, “Inside Out... Exploring The Mental Aspects Of Drumming” and his instructional DVD film, titled “Big Time” are both available through Hal Leonard Distributors. “Big Time” offers a new approach to teaching about groove and time. It received the prestigious Modern Drummer Magazine Readers Poll Award for Best Drum Instructional of ‘05. Billy also was awarded the Eric A Bergquist Award for Excellence in Education in the Percussive Arts and regularly is mentioned in other drumming/educational reader polls.

As a performer, Billy Ward has toured and/or recorded with a ton of “blue chip artists”. All told, Billy has played drums on more than 60 albums and 60 film soundtracks.  His first solo album, “Two Hands Clapping” received a (perfect) 5 star rating in Modern Drummer and was called “drummer’s album of the year”.  Much of Billy’s work these days includes recording himself at his New York City studio “DrumPike”, which enables him to enjoy his home life with his family, yet still allows him to play with people from all over the world. This hands-on experience of recording has led Billy to become a teacher of the recording arts as well – particularly in terms of recording drums and general production lessons.  Billy regularly participates in the Discussion Forum at his website, http://www.billyward.com

Scanning through the lists below demonstrates his versatility and expertise as many different styles of music.


Joan Osborne  (00 - 06)
Bill Champlin  (90 - current)
Yoko Ono  (86 - 94)
Bill Evans Supergroup  (86 - 88)
Ace Frehley (from “Kiss”) (86)
The Knack  (92)
Richard Marx  (97 - 98)
George Russell and Living Time Orchestra (93 - 02)
Carly Simon  (98)
Leni Stern  (95)
Jimmy Webb (95 - 00)
Chris Whitley (92 - 95)


B.B. King / 80  (2007 Grammy winner!)
Billy Ward / Out The Door
Billy Ward / Two Hands Clapping
Bill Champlin / No Place Left To Fall
Robbie Robertson / Storyville   
The Knack / Serious Fun & Greatest Hits
Leni Stern / Words
Bill Champlin / ...And He Started To Sing
The Sons of Champlin / Li’l Dreams   
Carly Simon / Film Noir
Jim Beard / Lost At The Carnival  & Truly
Bill Evans / Push   
Bruce Gaitsch / Nightingale
Marc Jordan / Cow    
Terri Nunn / Moment Of Truth
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack / That Thing You Do!
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack / Under Siege
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack / The Island Of Dr. Moreau
George Russell and Living Time Orchestra / It’s About Time
Amy Sky /  Burnt By The Sun
Dar Williams / Mortal City


Big Time (DVD) (written, produced and featuring Billy Ward) - produced by Billy Ward and distributed by Hal Leonard
Voices In My Head (DVD)  (Billy Ward) – produced by DW DVD and distributed by DW DVD and Alfred Music
Modern Drummer Festival 2000 (DVD) - produced by Hudson Music and distributed by Hudson/Hal Leonard
Modern Drummer Festival 2008 (DVD) - produced by Hudson Music and distributed by Hudson/Hal Leonard


Inside Out - exploring the mental aspects of drumming (BOOK) – written by Billy Ward.  Published by Modern Drummer Publications and distributed by Hal Leonard.


Chris Shinn / ’08 to ‘11
The Goldbrickers / Heaven ‘06
Jon Albrink / Private Moon ‘06
Jimmy Webb / Clean And Narrow (film score) ‘00
Stuffy Shmitt / Heart Above Water ‘98
Jon Albrink / Shimmer And Thrum ‘97


Dead Bang /Perfect Weapon/The Walking Dead/Double Team/Sister Act
     The Island Of Dr. Moreau/Sniper/The Specialist/Andersonville              
The Substitute/Mi Vida Loca/Miami Blues/Under Siege/That Thing You Do!


What a beautiful Monster!”
- Legendary composer, Jimmy Webb ‘99

“Billy Ward has incredible energy for the band. He’s got all the technique of the great drummers but he’s not ‘Mr. Flash’. He’s got a lot of soul and heart in his playing.”
-  Bill Evans, in DownBeat magazine ‘89

“Don’t let that engaging smile fool you. Billy Ward is thinking drums, time, and rhythm every moment, all the while playing for the music and for the band playing it. He never surrenders himself to playing ‘good enough’. Billy is always working on new magic to express himself.”
-  Jazz legend, George Russell ‘99

“In a drumming world filled with highly touted so-so players, Ward is a certifiable monster - impressive chops, an incredibly solid feel, a vast knowledge of styles, and a true sense of touch (practically a lost art these days). Oh, and be sure to include Billy’s playful, gregarious personality on that list; it adds a sparkle to any music he touches.” 
-Modern Drummer magazine ‘99


  © 2007 Billy Ward. All Rights Reserved. Design by Aaron Cushing.