Happy Birthday Billy Cobham

May 16, 1944

Glass Menagerie

Drummer, composer, and bandleader William Emanuel “Billy” Cobham was born on May 16, 1944 in Panama.

After serving in the Army and playing with a US Army Band, he joined Horace Silver and also performed with Stanley Turrentine, Shirley Scott, and George Benson.

Cobham gained prominence in the fusion genre, initially through his work with Miles Davis and later as a founding member of the “Mahavishnu Orchestra” alongside John McLaughlin, before embarking on his solo career.

Renowned as one of jazz fusion’s finest percussionists, Billy Cobham rose to prominence in the late 1960s as a drummer known for his power and precision while touring extensively during the early ’70s. He appeared on John McLaughlin’s album “My Goal’s Beyond” and, in 1971, Cobham and McLaughlin formed the “Mahavishnu Orchestra.”

He achieved critical acclaim with a number of solo albums, including “Crosswinds” and “Total Eclipse,” both released in 1974, before relocating to Switzerland later in the decade.

In 1980, Cobham joined the “Jack Bruce & Friends” band before forming “Billy Cobham’s Glass Menagerie” the following year.

Billy Cobham continues to tour, perform, and teach drums online at the Billy Cobham School of Drums within the ArtistWorks Drum Academy since 2011.

Billy Cobham performs live in Riazzino, Switzerland in 1981.


Billy Cobham, drums
Mike Stern, guitar
Michal Urbaniak, lyricon & violin
Gil Goldstein, piano
Tim Landers, bass

Set List:

1 “AC/DC”
2 “Flight Time”
3 “Vanessa”
4 Crosswind
5 “All Hallows Eve”
6 “Total Eclipse”
7 “Mendocino”
8 “Wrapped in a Cloud”
9 “Brooze”