Episode 8 – Sean Dobbins: “We’re in the Healing Business”


Detroit-area drummer/drum educator Sean Dobbins has been playing since he was a very young man.  As a student in the Ann Arbor, Michigan school system, he was fortunate to study under Louis Smith, an amazing trumpet player and long time Blue Note recording artist.

Influenced by jazz greats like Ed Thigpen, Elvin Jones and his favorite drummer – Art Blakey – Sean has performed with an amazing number of artist over the years, including Bennie Golson, Frank Morgan, Tad Weed and Mose Allison, to name just a few.  Interestingly, Sean is our third interview with a person whose played with Mose Allison.

While Sean keeps busy with numerous gigs and recording sessions, he also excels as a drum educator, a career move that came as a bit of a surprise for Sean who, early on, never dreamt he would teach.  He’s not only an Applied Professor of Jazz Percussion at Wayne State University, but also the Director of the Ann Arbor Public School’s Summer Jazz Program. It was great talking to Sean about his approach to drums and in our interview he offers a great deal of insight for the new and returning drummer.

For more information on Sean Dobbins, visit his Detroit Music Factory website

Also, check out this wonderful video of Sean Dobbins in action with his Trio You from 2018.

And a video of Sean Dobbins Organ Quartet at the Dirty Dog in Detroit (2015)

For information on Sean’s teaching, check the following faculty sites:

Sean Dobbins faculty page at Oakland University

Sean Dobbins faculty page at Wayne State University