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Biography


Jesse Kongos was born in 1983 in London, England. He is the second of four sons of John Kongos, South African/British singer songwriter, most known for his 1970s hits “He’s Gonna Step On You Again” and “Tokoloshe Man.” He began playing piano at 3 years old and studied into his late teens.

Growing up in a musical environment, with access to all kinds of instruments and a recording studio, he became interested in the drums at around 10 years old. He is a self-taught drummer, learning from a few instructional videos and by emulating his favorite drummers. At sixteen he started to play in jazz combos with his older brother, Johnny, at Arizona State University. It was also around this time that he met Arizona session drummer, Todd Chuba, who served as an informal mentor.

In 2003, together with his three brothers, the rock band KONGOS was formed. Since then it has been Jesse’s sole focus and project. Like his brothers, he plays various instruments in the studio, but live he plays drums and sings lead on several songs.

Major influences and favorite players include Jack DeJohnette, Tony Williams, John Bonham, Carlos McSwain, Aaron Spears and Levon Helm.