JazzFest History

Bob McKee

Awarded: 2018
Born: Canton, Ohio

"As a drummer, band leader and teacher, no musician had a greater impact on Cleveland's scene than Bob McKee"

- Ernie Krivda

One of the leading names in Cleveland jazz history, drummer Bob McKee was seen in over 2,000 network television shows and heard on more than 3,000 recordings and commercials.

McKee, a Canton, Ohio native and his wife moved to Chicago, where he found gainful employment at one of the city's numerous strip clubs. He then toured with the Johnny Hamlin Quintet. Seeking more stable employment in his family life, the McKees moved back to Cleveland. He played at The Theatrical, opening for jazz greats Gene Krupa, Doc Severinson, Sy Oliver and Dizzy Gillespie. He was also the house drummer for the Mike Douglas Show, a live and locally-produced national television program on Cleveland's KYW (now WKYC-TV).

McKee influenced and educated future musical greats, teaching both jazz and rock drummers for more than 40 years in northeast Ohio.

Bob McKee - Drum Teacher Extraordinaire
Bob McKee - Mike Douglas Show