Bobby Jarzombek is an American musician of Polish and German ancestry who is currently the drummer for country music legend George Strait. Bobby also has been a drummer for Sebastian Bach, and progressive metal band Fates Warning. Guitarist Ron Jarzombek is his younger brother.

Bobby Jarzombek
Jarzombek performing with Fates Warning in 2017
Jarzombek performing with Fates Warning in 2017
Background information
GenresProgressive metal, heavy metal, power metal, hard rock, country
Years active1986–present

He has also recorded and toured extensively with the bands Halford and Riot and worked with Fates Warning offshoot Arch/Matheos, Iced Earth, Rob Rock,[1] John West,[2] Spastic Ink,[3] and Juggernaut, among others.[4] As of August 2021 Jarzombek has been the tour drummer for Country Artist George Strait.[5]

Jarzombek is noted for, somewhat uniquely, positioning cymbals behind him, usually over his left and right shoulders, for shoulder hits while playing.[6]



Quickly developing into one of the hottest drummers in town, Jarzombek joined local up-and-comers, Juggernaut, with whom he made his official recording debut, aptly titled Baptism Under Fire, in 1986. As a member of Riot, Bobby toured throughout the US, Europe, and Japan and recorded a total of six studio and a pair of live albums, including The Privilege of Power (1990), an eclectic semi-concept album featuring the Tower of Power horns and guest vocals by Joe Lynn Turner, Nightbreaker (1994), and 1998's Shine On!, recorded live in Japan. Bobby took leave from the band early into the Brethren of the Long House sessions but was persuaded to rejoin in time for Inishmore (1997).

In 1993, he also reconnected with his younger brother, noted guitarist Ron Jarzombek of WatchTower fame. Joined by Riot bassist Pete Perez, the duo formed madcap tech/prog metal outfit Spastic Ink whose 'anything goes'-approach owed as much to the spirit of Frank Zappa and cartoon music icon Carl Stalling as it did to the brothers' early prog heroes such as U.K. and Rush. The band went on to release two highly acclaimed albums, Ink Complete (1997) and Ink Compatible (2004). In the fall of 1999, he was asked to submit a package to former Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford whose new project was deep into the pre-production phase for their debut album. Bobby became the drummer for Halford and has subsequently been part of every recording – including Resurrection (2000), Live Insurrection (2001), Crucible (2002), and the Fourging the Furnace EP (2003) – and tour, highlighted by an appearance in 2001 at the massive Rock in Rio III festival in Brazil in front of a quarter million fans. Halford went on indefinite hiatus when Rob Halford rejoined his former band, Judas Priest, in 2003. Halford would re-active his solo career in 2009 with Halford III: Winter Songs, a heavy metal Christmas album, followed by the release of Halford IV: Made of Metal in the summer of 2010 which also saw the band appear on the main stage at Ozzfest as well as co-headlining the Loud Park festival in Japan. The show was filmed for the 2011 Live at Saitama Super Arena DVD.

In 2004, Jarzombek was asked by future Howard Stern sidekick Richard Christy to take over his drum duties with Iced Earth who were in the middle of their U.S. tour in support of The Glorious Burden. The following year, Bobby recorded Touched by the Crimson King with Iced Earth offshoot Demons and Wizards, and was also approached by former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach who was in need of a touring drummer. With Iced Earth on hold due to guitarist Jon Schaffer's persistent back problems, the Bach gig became permanent. In 2006, Bobby toured worldwide with Bach supporting Guns N' Roses whose frontman Axl Rose put in a guest appearance on Bach's 2007 album, Angel Down. In the summer of 2007, he began his affiliation with long running progressive metal outfit Fates Warning when he was asked to fill in for the band's 2007 Italian 'Evolution Fest' appearance. He was also on board for the European tour later that same year and has continued to be the group's full-time drummer ever since. In 2011, he recorded the Sympathetic Resonance album with Fates Warning offshoot Arch/Matheos, featuring original lead vocalist John Arch.

In May 2008, it was announced that the members of Riot's classic Thundersteel-era line-up - Mark Reale, Tony Moore, Don Van Stavern, and Bobby Jarzombek - would reunite for a new studio album. Initially slated for a late 2009 release, the album, entitled Immortal Soul, eventually surfaced in the fall of 2011. Founding member Mark Reale would pass away only months later from complications due to Crohn's Disease at a San Antonio, Texas hospital. In 2008-2009, Bobby was a session drummer for several vocal tracks of Sega's video game Sonic and the Black Knight. His drumming can be heard on "Through the Fire" and both versions of "With Me", the final battle version and the Crush 40 "Massive Power Mix" exclusive to the original vocal soundtrack: Face to Faith.[7] In October 2010, Bobby was approached by Dream Theater's management about an audition following the departure of Mike Portnoy but decided to pass. Talking to U.K. website Give The Drummer Some! in the fall of 2013, Bobby explained that he turned down the opportunity because he felt it was "not his gig", and that Portnoy would eventually come back in the future.[8]

In early 2011, Platinum Samples issued the Bobby Jarzombek Metal MIDI Groove Library, a multi-format MIDI groove library featuring over 1,670 MIDI files (over 3,430 bars of unquantized grooves) formatted for BFD2®, BFD Eco®, EZDrummer®, EZplayer®, Superior Drummer 2.0®, Addictive Drums®, Cakewalk® Session DrummerTM as well as General MIDI.[9] Bobby's first foray into MIDI samples came in 2007 via Joe Barresi's Evil Drums, a six-DVD set released by Platinum Samples, the second BFD Expansion Pack in the company's 'Master Engineer' series of drum samples featuring the work of multi-platinum award-winning producers and recording engineers. That same year, Bobby also featured on Sebastian Bach's Kicking & Screaming, produced by Bob Marlette and released in the fall of 2011. Bobby's studio debut with Fates Warning, Darkness in a Different Light, was released September 27, 2013, via Inside Out Music.[10] Bobby also joined Transatlantic progressive metal group Zierler, featuring members of Beyond Twilight, Scar Symmetry, Firewind, and Circus Maximus, whose debut album, ESC, was released in October 2015.[11]

Continuing to divide his time between recording and touring with Sebastian Bach and Fates Warning, Bobby featured on Bach's 2014 effort, Give 'Em Hell,[12] and Fates' latest studio offering, Theories of Flight, released on July 1, 2016 [13] as well as the band's 2018 live album, Live Over Europe. He was also one of several current and former Fates Warning members to take part in the recording of the second Arch/Matheos release, Winter Ethereal, which surfaced in the spring of 2019.[14]

Jarzombek has also become involved with the South Texas Legion, an all-star live formation featuring players from notable Texas metal bands such as WatchTower, Helstar, S.A. Slayer, Juggernaut, Militia and Karion, put together for the purpose of celebrating the Texas metal heritage.[15][16]

On May 18, 2021, Jarzombek announced on his Facebook page that he had joined country music superstar George Strait and his Ace In The Hole band. Jarzombek had been playing with members of the Ace In The Hole band in the Texas Jamm Band for a number of years and continues to perform with them.[17]

Drum instructional DVD


In 2003, Bobby released 'Performance & Technique', his first ever drum instructional VHS/DVD.[18] It was initially available as a self-released VHS tape but was soon picked up by Warner Bros. Publications and released on DVD with additional content in 2005. It was slightly re-packaged and issued again by Alfred Publishing in 2006.





Jarzombek was voted '#1 drummer 2000' by the readers of Japanese metal magazine, Burrn!, in recognition of his work on Halford's Resurrection.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "ROB ROCK: U.S. Release Date Set For 'Holy Hell'". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. June 21, 2005. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  2. ^ "ROYAL HUNT Frontman Sets Release Date For "Earth Maker"". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. June 9, 2002. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "SPASTIC INK To Release Sophomore Album In April". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. February 11, 2004. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Record Reviews, Streaming Songs, Genres & Bands". AllMusic. December 16, 2016. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  5. ^ Blabbermouth (August 18, 2021). "Watch FATES WARNING Drummer BOBBY JARZOMBEK Perform With Country Legend GEORGE STRAIT In Las Vegas". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  6. ^ "Bobby Jarzombek". Modern Drummer Magazine. May 12, 2004. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  7. ^ "RIOT/HALFORD Drummer BOBBY JARZOMBEK Checks In". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. May 6, 2009. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "BOBBY JARZOMBEK: Why I Turned Down DREAM THEATER Drummer Audition". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. November 16, 2013. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  9. ^ "BOBBY JARZOMBEK's 'Multi-Format Metal MIDI Groove Library' Available". December 20, 2010. Retrieved December 20, 2010.
  10. ^ "FATES WARNING To Release 'Darkness In A Different Light' In September". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. August 1, 2013. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  11. ^ "ZIERLER Featuring BEYOND TWILIGHT, FATES WARNING, SCAR SYMMETRY Members To Release Debut Album In October". September 3, 2015. Archived from the original on August 12, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  12. ^ "SEBASTIAN BACH: 'Give 'Em Hell' Cover Artwork, Track Listing Unveiled; 'Temptation' Song Available For Streaming". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. February 18, 2014. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  13. ^ Childers, Chad (April 24, 2016). "Fates Warning Reveal 'Theories of Flight' Album Details". Loudwire. Archived from the original on January 30, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  14. ^ "JOHN ARCH Says Involving Multiple FATES WARNING Members On Debut ARCH/MATHEOS Album Created 'A Little Bit Of Static'". May 5, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  15. ^ "Metal Supergroup South Texas Legion Lines Up Pre-Thanksgiving Date in San Antonio". Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "South Texas Legion's All-Star Cast Shines Brightly, Adds To Legacy". Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  17. ^ "Well-Traveled San Antonio Metal Drummer Bobby Jarzombek Lands A Slot In George Strait's Band". Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  18. ^ "HALFORD's Bobby Jarzombek Releases First Technique Video!". Retrieved February 10, 2003.