///Jazz Legends: Billy Cobham
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Widely regarded as the “world’s greatest drummer” and revered for his musical ingenuity, jazz fusion virtuoso Billy Cobham has contributed seminally as a master drummer, percussionist, composer, producer, educator, clinician and tireless musical explorer. With the same energy and exuberance he displayed in his youth, he forges ahead with an everpassionate commitment to innovation and service to the world through his music. Born in Panama on May 16, 1944, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Cobham got his first paid gig at the age of eight as a member of St. Catherine’s Queensmen, a drum and bugle corps in St. Albans, Queens. He attended New York’s renowned Fiorella H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, where he studied music theory and drum technique. While in the military from 1965 to 1968, Cobham played with the U.S. Army Band as percussionist. After his service, he played in Horace Silver’s Band, performed with Stanley Turrentine and Shirley Scott, and recorded with George Benson. In 1969, Billy Cobham co-founded the jazz-rock combo, Dreams, which incl. Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, John Abercrombie, Don Grolnick, Barry Rodgers, and Will Lee. The following year, he joined Miles Davis’ new fusion ensemble, and contributed toLive-Evil, A Tribute to Jack Johnson and the Bitches Brew sessions, where he collaborated with guitarist John McLaughlin. In 1971, Cobham became a founding member of the jazz fusion Mahavishnu Orchestra, along with McLaughlin, Jan Hammer, Jerry Goodman, and Rick Laird. This original group released three critically acclaimed albums: The Inner Mounting (1971), Birds of Fire (1973) and Between Nothingness and Eternity (live album released in 1973).

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