About Derek Bodkin

From his childhood, Derek Bodkin desired to play music to make people laugh, smile, groove, raise an eyebrow, and learn a story or two. This is thanks to his father who raised him on the great Americana/Folk groups such as The Kingston Trio and The Limeliters. Derek enjoys telling stories, and does so in many of his songs with “a startingly appropriate mix of the comic and ominous.” (Pat Launer, KPBS radio.) One of Derek’s comedy tunes called “Captain Bodkin, Pirate Tailor” (written, by he and a friend, about his ancestor the notorious Irish Pirate Captain Francis Bodkin) was featured throughout West Coast radio stations and he performed the song live on KPIG radio’s highly acclaimed live program “Please Stand By.”  

Derek has a background and education in orchestral conducting, jazz composition and classical orchestral arranging, as well as playing drums in world percussion groups and Big Bands, and Jazz Combos. Spending many years in musical theater union orchestra pits, honing his sightreading skills, he was influenced with a flare for performing by the 1000’s of actors with whom he’d spent so much time. Derek decided to give Hollywood a shot and try his hand at writing music for movies and television. During his time there, he enjoyed working as a Voice-Over actor, so both his voice and/or music cues could be heard on documentaries, films, and network television shows, including CBS’s “Diagnosis Murder” and ABC’s “Sabrina The Teenage Witch.”

Additionally, Derek is hailed as one of the best melodic whistlers alive.  In September 2017, Derek Bodkin competed in and won the title of WORLD CHAMPION 2017 at the Master's of Musical Whistling competition.  (See the video's section of this website for examples)

Always placing great value on community, Derek also took on the role of Drum Sargent in two bagpipe and drum bands… one being the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society and also the celebrity charity bagpipe band band called “Sons of the Desert Pipes and Drums” which Derek started with John Ratzenberger, who’s known for playing “Cliff Claven” on the hit television show “Cheers.”  Writing music on the side became quite hard while trying to meet his busy schedule working in the T.V. industry and the community. Derek, realizing he needed to get back on the proper musical track to return to his ‘truth,’ left Hollywood with very little word. 

Though Derek has been playing banjo, drums, and guitar since he was a child, he always stayed behind the scenes performing on movie soundtracks and independent films, playing various instruments. Derek is back on stage, behind the mic, in front of the crowd – a visible force to share his heartsongs and ideals with the musical counterculture of which he is so very fond.  Derek continues to play drums, percussion, banjo, guitar and sing in an ecclectic mix of musical projects and is working on releasing a second album in 2019 and looks forward to sharing it with kindred musical spirits everywhere.