Kevin C. McDonald


Kevin C. McDonald [Ph.D., Catholic Univ.; M.M., Manhattan School of Music] is a passionate musicologist and an acclaimed jazz drummer. He has shared the concert stage with Dave Liebman, Mark Turner, Paquito D’Rivera, Miguel Zenon, Maria Schneider, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, and Lee Konitz in international venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The White House, and Bimhuis. He serves as Adjunct Professor of Applied Jazz Percussion at George Mason University and as drummer for the U.S. Navy Band Commodores, the Navy's premier jazz ensemble. He is a proud endorsing artist for Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth drumsticks, and Remo drumheads. 


He​ holds a Ph.D. in musicology from The Catholic University of America. His dissertation, "Hearing the American Civil Rights Movement in the Music of Max Roach," was published in 2021. He was selected to perform in Carnegie Hall's 2011 Professional Training Workshops directed by Brad Mehldau and has presented for prestigious academic fora, including the American Musicological Society (AMS), Jazz Education Network (JEN), Midwest Clinic, and National Museum of the U.S. Navy. A student of John Riley, he holds a M.M. in Jazz Arts from Manhattan School of Music, where he was recipient of the William H. Borden Award, Clement Meadmore Scholarship, Manhattan School of Music Scholarship, and Center for Music Entrepreneurship Fellowship. He holds both a B.M. in Jazz Studies and a Certificate in Ethnomusicology from the Eastman School of Music.