A drummer and percussionist working in the music industry for more than three decades, Kelli’s resume spans the musical spectrum, covering jazz, pop, country, bluegrass, drum corps, brass band, and children's music. Since 2017, she has served as the house percussionist at the Smoky Mountain Opry in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Over the last decade, Kelli has established a formidable “second” career as a collector, researcher and clinician. She has presented on the preservation and restoration of antique drums as well as historical drumming methods at the Chicago Drum Show, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Delaware Drum Show, and the National Women's Music Festival.
Kelli is writing a book with noted drummer, author, and educator Daniel Glass, entitled "The Postcard Project: A Snapshot of Drumming Life, 1900-1930".
As a result of her reputation in music history she was awarded the 2020 Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship. She has received seven grants from the East Central Regional Arts Council.
Kelli Rae Tubbs performing in the percussion pit with the Smoky Mountain Opry orchestra for a production of "Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry" in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Kelli Rae Tubbs singing "Why Don't You Do Right?" at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in New York City during "Jim Caruso's Cast Party" with the Birdland Orchestra (Daniel Glass, drums, Steven Doyle, bass; Billy Stritch, piano). Photo credit: Jim Mola
Kelli Rae Tubbs on stage as the percussionist for "Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry" in Pigeon Forge, TN. Photo credit: Gary Cox & Carol Cox
Kelli Rae Tubbs performing at a corporate event in 2018.
Read about Kelli's upcoming live and podcast appearances and much more.