Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: California
Band: Bill Watrous Big Band, Maynard Ferguson, Kazumi Watanbe
Genres: Jazz
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Music was probably a foregone conclusion for John Wackerman. Chuck Wackerman, John's father, was a music teacher for more than forty-five years. John Wackerman's brothers, Chad, Brooks, and Bob, are all accomplished musicians--Chad and Brooks are both drummers, and Bob plays bass. With an impressive lineage like this, it is no wonder that John Wackerman had the opportunity to study under Ruth Ritchie, Murray Spivack, Chuck Flores, Charlie Shoemake, and Earl Hatch. While studying piano as a young boy, John Wackerman learned lessons in both persistence and determination from his supportive parents.

As a teenager, John Wackerman joined the Bill Watrous Big Band. John Wackerman later played with prominent musicians like Maynard Ferguson, Kazumi Watanabe, Bunny Brunel, and Patrick Moraz. John Wackerman also performed on television programs, in commercials, and in films.

John Wackerman's first solo album, Drum Duets, is a unique collection of duets with veritable all-stars Alex Acuña, Steve Gadd, Ron Tutt, Peter Erskine, Steve Smith, Clayton Cameron, Adrian Young, John Ferraro, Marc Atkinson, Ricky Alwson, Josh Freese, Gary Novak, his brothers Brooks and Chad, and his father Chuck.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1989 Kilowatt Kazumi Watanabe
1996 Momentum Bunny Brunel
1998 Brunel's L.A. Zoo Bunny Brunel
1999 Bass Talk, Vol. 6 Various Artists
2006 Coat of Many Colours World Drummers Ensemble
2007 Drum Duets, Vol. 1 John Wackerman


  • "I've had the idea for a long time, well over ten years. Then, two years ago, I finally decided to make it a priority and try to get it done--to see if I could get people interested in doing it. When you have a creative dream like this, itís kind of hard to explain to people what it is, so early on, people thought I was pretty crazy. They couldn't really grasp what I was trying to do, but this was a project that I was committed to doing no matter what." -John on his project, Drum Duets, in an interview with Roland

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Cymbals: Zildjian
Hardware: Drum Workshop
Heads: Evans
Electronics: Roland
Sticks: Vic Firth

Pics & Clips