Kirk Covington is one of the most versatile and dynamic drummers in the world. His crowd-pleasing personality and vocal ability have been a driving force in the success of the world-renowned jazz fusion group Tribal Tech featuring guitarist Scott Henderson, bassist Gary Willis and keyboardist Scott Kinsey.
Covington was born into a musical family in Midland, Texas. The youngest of five children, he was encouraged to begin playing drums at age seven by his brother Kyle, who played the guitar. By age 12, Covington was a full-time “garage band junkie” and at age 15, he was borrowing the family truck and hauling his drum kit to rock ‘n’ roll and country gigs around the region.
Covington was introduced to jazz through his parents, who loved swing and big band. With little formal training, he entered the internationally renowned North Texas State University jazz program. Covington eventually landed the drum chair in the famous Two O’clock Lab Band, a position that also would create many relationships with now-famous players, including a young bassist named Gary Willis. After college, Covington and Willis continued to work together in Condor, one of the most popular jazz fusion bands in the region.
By this time, Covington had developed a naturally powerful and very soulful vocal style that, combined with his ever-growing skills as a drummer and keyboardist, made him one of the most sought-after players in the Dallas area. Encouraged by the success that Willis and other North Texas musical associates found by relocating to Los Angeles, Covington packed up his family and moved there as well.
In early 1991, Tribal Tech was searching for a new drummer who could carry the group into the next decade. The search ended with Willis’ old Texas friend Covington. Covington’s success in Tribal Tech has propelled him into the spotlight as the animated backbone of “Tribal” shows worldwide.
Covington’s inventive drumming has been captured on numerous “Tribal” releases. He also has performed or recorded with noted musicians including Joe Zawinul, Robben Ford, Allan Holdsworth, Scott Henderson and John Humphrey.