Aronoff, Kenny

  • Birth name: Kenny Aronoff
  • Born: March 7, 1953 Albany, NY USA
  • Genres: Rock
  • Occupation: Musician
  • Instruments: Drums
  • Years Active: 1976-present
  • Labels:
  • Associated Acts: John Mellencamp, BoDeans, John Fogerty, Cinderella, Chickenfoot and many, many more. See the list below.
  • Influences: According the Kenny, “Everybody. But as a kid one of the biggest influences was Mitch Mitchell from Jimi Hendrix’s band. That really turned my head. He combined jazz and rock together.”
  • On the Web:

Kenny grew up in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, with his twin brother Jonathan, a clinical psychologist. He developed an interest in music at an early age and gravited to the drums because, as Kenny says, “drumming was one hundred percent energy”.

Kenny went to music school for one year at the University of Massachusetts and spent four more years at The Indiana University School of Music (presently known as Jacobs School of Music) as a performance major in classical music. He also spent a summer at the Aspen School of Music run by Juilliard School of Music, and a summer at Tanglewood in the Fellowship program (now Tanglewood Music Center), which at that time was managed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra where he worked with conductors Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Arthur Feidler. While studying at Indiana University from 1972 to 1976 Kenny studied under timpanist George Gaber. He also studied under private tutor with Vic Firth and Arthur Press, both formerly with The Boston Symphony Orchestra.

After graduating in 1976 he was offered jobs with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and Quito Ecuador Symphony Orchestra but decided to move to the East Coast to study Drumset in Boston with Alan Dawson, a teacher from Berklee College of Music and also with Gary Chester in New York where he began to concentrate on jazz and fusion music.

During this time he decided to return to his rock and roll roots that started in 1964 with his very first childhood band, The Alley Cats. In 1980 he won an audition with John Cougar and joined the band, which led to a career with Mellencamp recording 10 albums and touring with him for 17-years from 1980 to 1996.

Touring and Recording 1985-1999

In the mid-1980s, Aronoff began to develop a successful career as a studio musician, playing on hundreds of records as well as touring worldwide with many artists.

He filled in for Dave Mattacks on the second half of Richard Thompson’s 1988 tour, (after Mattacks broke his rib). In 1996, Aronoff recorded with Bob Seger and then Melissa Etheridge. He has made records and toured with John Fogerty for 20 years. In 1998, he played the thirty six date Smashing Pumpkins’ An Evening with… tour. Kenny started touring with Joe Cocker in 2000 and has been touring and recording records with BoDeans since 1988.

In 1990, Kenny recorded on “Blaze of Glory” from the Western film Young Guns II, in 1993 on Meat Loaf’s 22,000,000 worldwide comeback record Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and in 1994 on Cinderella’s fourth album Still Climbing. He also recorded with Celine Dion on Let’s Talk About Love, released in 1997.

2001 to the present

Kenny Aronoff

Kenny was an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards’ 2001 1st Annual IMA judging panel to support independent artists.

In 2005, he began touring with roots rock band The BoDeans and played on their two-CD live set, Homebrewed: Live From the Pabst.

He also recorded on Avril Lavigne‘s 2004 hit single My Happy Ending and her 2007 CD The Best Damn Thing featured on the track “Everything Back But You”. He recorded both Michelle Branch records “The Spirit Room” and “Hotel Paper” and most recently on Brandon Flowers 2015 release The Desired Effect.

In 2007 and 2008 Kenny worked with John Fogerty, performing on his 2007 US and European tours and on his 2008 Australian tour. And he is one of four rotating drummers in Daryl Hall’s house band for his Live From Daryl’s House webcast.

On July 26, 2011, Kenny reunited with members of Chickenfoot and toured with the band on the heels of their second album, temporarily filling in for Chad Smith who was unable to participate on the tour due to commitments with The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

He has performed at the Kennedy Center Honors Ceremonies from 2008 to 2014 as well as two performances at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards with Ringo Starr and the Highway Men. He also performed a tribute to The Beatles sharing the stage with the two remaining Beatle members Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney in “The Beatles: The Night That Changed America”. During that same show, he also played drums for Stevie Wonder, David Grohl, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Joe Walsh, Keith Urban, John Mayer. Jeff Lynne, Pharrell Williams and Brad Paisley.

In an interview, Kenny told Ringo Starr, “You’re the reason why I’m playing drums. You’re the reason why I’m in a band. You’re the reason why I decided to be a musician!”

Aside from from keeping busy between touring, recording, and drum clinics Kenny owns Uncommon Studios L.A. located in Los Angeles, California.

Here’s a list of Kenny’s recording credits:

In addition, Rolling Stone Magazine voted Kenny one of the Top 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.