William "Billy" Kilson

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Innovative drummer Billy Kilson has toured with such famed musicians as Dave Holland, George Duke, Dianne Reeves, Hank Jones, Larry Carlton, Bob James, and Chris Botti. While studying at Berklee, Kilson met legendary percussion teacher Alan Dawson, who became his teacher and mentor. Kilson has released four albums as a leader and appeared on a long list of notable recordings, including the Grammy-nominated Chris Botti in Boston. Bassist and bandleader Holland invited Kilson to join his band in the 1990s, and Kilson has appeared on a long list of acclaimed Holland releases, including Overtime and What Goes Around, both of which earned Grammy Awards in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category.

Career Highlights
  • Leader of BK Groove and Billy Kilson Trio
  • Member of the Chris Botti Band
  • Performed with Steven Tyler, John Mayer, Sting, Hank Jones, Yo-Yo Ma, Dave Holland, Jill Scott, George Duke, and Michael Brecker
  • Plays drums on the Grammy-nominated Chris Botti in Boston
  • Recorded with Randy Brecker, Gladys Knight, Bob James, Pat Martino, Herbie Hancock, Michael Gibbs, Hiram Bullock, Steve Swallow, Donald Brown, Dave Holland, and Tom Browne
In Their Own Words

"My goal is to provide an open-minded and objective teaching environment. I show my students how to improve their skill not only through my wealth of professional experiences and diversity, but also through their own personal experiences. I’d like to be the ultimate guide for the student, as Alan Dawson was for me."

"Simply, Berklee creates a simulated environment of the professional music world."

"With 30+ years of performing and recording professionally throughout the world, in addition to being a Berklee alumnus, I can provide a global vision of the music world for the student."