Faculty & Staff

Kevin McDonald

Jazz Percussion

Adjunct Faculty

  • Applied Jazz Percussion and Drum Set


  • B.M. in Jazz Studies/Contemporary Media and a Certificate in World Music/Ethnomusicology, Eastman School of Music
  • M.M. in Jazz Arts, Manhattan School of Music

Drummer and percussionist Kevin McDonald’s performance credits include Dave Liebman, Mark Turner, Paquito D’Rivera, Miguel Zenon, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, and Lee Konitz in international venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The White House,The U.S. Library of Congress, JEN, The Midwest Clinic, and Bimhuis. A Ph.D. candidate in Musicology at The Catholic University of America researching the intersection of jazz arts and twentieth-century American cultural identity, McDonald serves as Adjunct Professor of Applied Jazz Percussion at George Mason University’s School of Music and as drummer for the U.S. Navy Band Commodores, the Navy’s premier jazz ensemble and a presidential support specialty group of the Navy’s flagship musical institution based in Washington, D.C. In addition to his forthcoming dissertation, McDonald is published in the U.S. Naval Institute’s Fall 2019 Naval History Blog and in the Spring 2019 issue of Fanfare (Vol. 40, No. 1), the official publication of the Navy Music Program. McDonald served as Percussion Principal for the 2012 Disneyland All-American College Band, was selected to perform in Carnegie Hall’s 2011 Professional Training Workshops directed by Brad Mehldau, and has given masterclasses at institutions around the globe, including Columbia University Teachers College, Georgetown University, Manhattan School of Music, and The Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP). McDonald is a proud endorsing artist for Zildjian Cymbals, Ludwig Drums, Vic Firth Drumsticks, and Remo Drumheads.

Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, McDonald holds a M.M. in Jazz Arts from Manhattan School of Musicwhere he studied in the studio of John Riley and was recipient of the William H. Borden Award, Clement Meadmore Scholarship, Manhattan School of Music Scholarship, and Center for Music Entrepreneurship Fellowship. McDonald holds both a B.M. in Jazz Studies/Contemporary Media and a Certificate in World Music/Ethnomusicology from the Eastman School of Music, where he was recipient of the Howard Hanson Scholarship. A Dual-Degree Program student and 2009 Provost Scholar, McDonald additionally holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester, where he was twice named to the NCAA UAA Men’s Soccer All-Academic Team.  Visit Kevin online at:  kevinmcdonaldmusic.com

E-mail Professor McDonald at: kmcdon@gmu.edu