Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: Sharon, Pennsylvania
Band: Brian Setzer Orchestra
Genres: Jazz, Rockabilly
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Like so many musicians, The Beatles wooed young Bernie Dresel. As a toddler in Western Pennsylvania, Bernie Dresel listened to their American debut, Meet The Beatles; the album was a gift from his grandmother. Immediately taken by Ringo Starr's drumming, Bernie Dresel quickly outgrew a paper-head toy drum set and started shopping for formal lessons when he was just three years old. Unfortunately, no one would take on such a young student, so Bernie Dresel waited until he was four-and-a-half. Bernie Dresel studied on pads and a single snare drum for more than three years before he enrolled in music school.

During high school, Bernie Dresel performed with a popular local band, Starbreaker. Bernie Dresel then studied classical percussion at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Bernie Dresel graduated and moved to Los Angeles; he performed with the Albaricci Sisters and then toured with The Lettermen for five months. Bernie Dresel earned a reputation as a session player and a sideman. Bernie Dresel played with Maynard Ferguson, David Byrne, Adny Summers of the Police, The Rippingtons, and Chaka Khan and also contributed to several television shows, including Dallas, Knots Landing, Deep Space Nine, Suddenly Susan, and The Simpsons. 

On the second request, Bernie Dresel joined the Brian Setzer Orchestra in 1992. Setzer's unique big band featured an electric guitar at the front and center of their fast-paced jazz outfit. Bernie Dresel brought a rockabilly attiude and execution to the drum set which added depth and character to the band. With the addition of bassist Mark Winchester, the pair created a powerful and unmatched Grammy Award winning rhythm section. 

In addition to his busy career as a performer, Bernie Dresel became an educator. He created video lessons in partnership with Stars Teach Music that are available as electronic downloads. Bernie Dresel taught drum set at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and taught private lessons throughout the Los Angeles area. Bernie Dresel co-wrote Big Phat Band Play-Along Series for Drums with Gordon Goodwin and is currently working on another instructional book on drum set method.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1949 Legacy Gerry Mulligan
1986 Hit and Run Matt Harris
1987 Drop of Water Keiko Matsui
1988 More than a Dream Steve Bach
1989 Porcupine Porcupine
1990 Brad Dutz Brad Dutz
1990 Nice Moves Steve Bach
1991 Forest David Byrne
1991 Key Witness Gregg Karukas
1991 Night Waltz Keiko Matsui
1991 Pieces of a Heart Carl Anderson
1991 Sound of Emotion Gregg Karukas
1992 Cherry Blossom Keiko Matsui
1992 City Magic Steve Bach
1993 Body Heat: Jazz at the Movies Jazz at the Movies Band
1993 Candles, Snow & Mistletoe Sharon, Lois & Bram
1993 Look But Don't Touch Porcupine
1993 Paul Simon Songbook Thom Rotella
1993 Put on Your Green Shoes Various Artists
1993 Wheels of the Sun Kazu Matsui
1994 Brian Setzer Orchestra The Brian Setzer Orchestra
1994 Is There Anybody Out There? Gloria Loring
1994 One from the Heart, Sax at the Movies II Jazz At The Movies Band
1994 Pangea Kalani
1994 Reel Romance [Box] Jazz at the Movies Band
1994 Signs of Life Bob Mamet
1994 White Heat: Film Noir The Jazz at the Movies Band
1995 GRP Christmas Collection, Vol. 2 Various Artists
1995 Insights Kalani
1995 It's a Wonderful Life: Sax at the Movies for Christma Jazz at the Movies Band
1995 Orange Crate Art Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks
1995 Sol to Soul Freddie Ravel
1995 Wind Kazu Matsui
1996 Always & Forever Patty Cabrera
1996 Americano JosÈ Feliciano
1996 Dream Walk Keiko Matsui
1996 Guitar Slinger The Brian Setzer Orchestra
1996 Songs from the Aristocats Original Soundtrack
1996 Songs of West Side Story Various Artists
1996 Swing Alive! At the Hollywood Palladium Various Artists
1997 It's Time Linda Eder
1997 Last Dance of Mr. X Andy Summers
1997 Long Road From Home Jeff Campbell
1997 No Truer Words Mark Portmann
1997 Now & Then Steve Bach
1997 Sax on Broadway Jazz At The Movies Band
1997 Wouldn't It Be Nice: A Jazz Portrait of Brian Wilson Various Artists
1998 Dirty Boogie The Brian Setzer Orchestra
1998 Forget to Remember Dennis Bono
1998 Full Moon & the Shrine Keiko Matsui
1998 Moonlighting: Live at the Ash Grove Van Dyke Parks
1998 Music You Can't Refuse Michael Grange
1998 Unwind: A Jazz Compilation Various Artists
1999 Civil War: The Complete Work Various Artists
1999 Encuentros Arthur Hanlon
1999 Green Chimneys: The Music of Thelonious Monk Andy Summers
2000 Bientot Colombe
2000 Jazz at the Movies: The Bedroom Mixes Various Artists
2000 Me, Myself and Irene Original Soundtrack
2000 Smooth Jazz Number Ones Various Artists
2000 Smooth Jazz [Edeltone] Various Artists
2000 Swingin' for the Fences [DVD] Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
2000 Vavoom! Brian Setzer Orchestra
2001 Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records Various Artists
2001 Ignition! Brian Setzer '68 Comeback Special
2001 Jumpin' East of Java: Live in Japan Brian Orchestra Setzer
2001 Swingin' for the Fences Goodwin's Big Phat Band
2002 Boogie Woogie Christmas Brian Setzer Orchestra
2002 Christmas Album Brian Setzer
2002 Country Bears Original Soundtrack
2002 Friends & Lovers [2001] Gloria Loring
2002 Guitar Slinger Brian Setzer
2003 Cherry Blossom Keiko Matsui
2003 Dream Walk Keiko Matsui
2003 Drop of Water Keiko Matsui
2003 Frenchy Eddy Mitchell
2003 Jeepers Creepers 2 Original Score
2003 Jump, Jive an' Wail: The Best of the Brian Setzer Orchestra Brian Setzer
2003 Released Wendy MaHarry
2003 Storybook Linda Eder
2003 XXL Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
2004 Boogie Woogie Christmas [Bonus Tracks] Brian Setzer Orchestra
2004 Bourne Supremacy John Powell
2004 Holiday Wish Jimmy Sommers
2004 Star Academy 4: Les Meilleurs Moments Various Artists
2004 What a Wonderful World Leann Rimes
2004 Wouldn't It Be Nice: A Jazz Portrait of Brian Wilson Various Artists
2005 Family Guy Live in Las Vegas Original Soundtrack
2005 Rockabilly Riot, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Sun Records Brian Setzer
2005 Rumor Mill Carl Verheyen
2005 Star Academy 5: Les Meilleurs Moments Various Artists
2005 Swingin' for the Fences Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
2005 XXL Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
2006 13 Brian Setzer
2006 Introducing Robin McKelle Robin McKelle
2006 Little Night Music Lulu LaFever
2006 Michelle Tumes Michelle Tumes
2006 Phat Pack Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
2006 Smooth Sounds of the Season, Vol. 1 Various Artists
2006 Take One Step Carl Verheyen Band
2007 Green Chimneys: The Music of Thelonious Monk Andy Summers
2007 Nouvelle Vague Sylvie Vartan
2007 Red Hot & Live! Brian Setzer & the Nashvillains
2007 Truth Robben Ford
2007 Wolfgang's Big Night Out [Bonus Track] Brian Setzer
2008 Modern Antique Robin Mc Kelle
2008 Incredible Clique Girlz
2008 Act Your Age Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
2009 How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
2009 Dave Siebels with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band Dave Siebels
2009 A Gozar! Cecilia Noel
2010 On Broadway David Campbell
2010 Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You Katharine McPhee
2011 The Sinatra Project Vol. 2: The Good Life Michael Feinstein
2011 The Secret of Happiness Susan Egan
2011 That's How We Roll Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
2011 My Lifelong Love Georgia Stitt
2012 Ted (Movie Soundtrack) Walter Murphy
2012 Rattle Them Bones Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
2012 Hayley Sings Rachel Macfarlane
2013 Swings Both Ways Robbie Williams
2013 Planes (Movie Soundtrack) Mark Mancina
2013 Man of Steel (Movie Soundtrack) Hans Zimmer
2013 Lost Vegas UNLV Wind Orchestra
2014 Rio 2 (Movie Soundtrack) John Powell
2014 Life In the Bubble Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band


  • A highlight of Dreselís career is his performance with idol Ringo Starr on the British television program, Dame Edna.
  • Dame Edna Everage is a character created and performed by Australian comedian Barry Humphries.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop

Pics & Clips