Billy Arnold is a musician, educator and now a published author who lives in Springfield, MA and teaches at the Community Music School of Springfield. He was born in South Bend, Indiana, and grew up drumming on oatmeal boxes until he could afford real drums. This hard-working, can-do mindset served him well throughout his young life, and he finally got his big break touring and recording with Junior Walker and the All Stars. He was drafted into the US Army in 1963, where he played in the Army Band until he had finished his service, and then went on to play with jazz greats such as Ray Bryant and Kenny Burrell, as well as playing at Fenway Park, on the Tonight Show, and touring worldwide.

Recently, Arnold has taken to playing local gigs on the weekends and serving as one of Springfield’s most respected and admired music gurus. His peers and students at CMSS refer to him as “the ultimate soul doctor,” “the real deal,” “a profound inspiration,” “an icon in the community” and “the high priest and philosopher king of the throne.” His young spirit and sage wisdom have also made their way into a book, “So, You Want To Be a Musician,” which is available at local booksellers and online at billdrums.weebly.com.

Billy Arnold will perform with his trio at the Jazz and Roots Festival, featuring the man himself on the drums, Chris Bakriges on the piano, and Avery Sharpe on Bass. The trio plays everything from American songbook standards to exciting soul music, and is a must-see for every local music fan.