Born in Ohio to a pair of hard-working music enthusiasts, Kristen grew up listening to 70s funk, the Rat Pack and Al Green. She fell in love with the drums after seeing Billy Cobham in concert when she was nine and hasn’t stopped playing since.
After attending DePaul University’s School of Music and Berklee College of Music, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Performance and moved to Los Angeles. She has had the pleasure of studying under drumset masters John “JR” Robinson, Chris Coleman, Aaron Sterling, Kenny Aronoff, John Blackwell, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kim Plainfield, Jamey Haddad, Bill Ransom, Steve Wilkes, Dave DiCenso, and more. She has studied Japanese taiko drumming under master Eitetsu Hayashi, Brazilian percussion under Marcus Santos (with whom she performed at the 2008 PASIC convention) and West African drumming under Joe Galeota (with whom she performed at the opening ceremony of the 2008 PASIC convention and traveled to Ghana to study Ewe drumming and dancing under Emmanuel Agbeli in the Ewe region of southwestern Ghana).
She currently works with BØRNS and Abby Posner, and has recently worked with Kenton Chen of “The Sing-Off” and Derik Nelson of “Glee”, among many others. She recently toured Southeastern Europe as part of a USO tour. She has taught African Drumming at AMDA-LA, has an extensive private student roster, is endorsed by Paiste cymbals, Vic Firth drumsticks and Remo drumheads and percussion, and writes for Tom Tom, a female drumming magazine. She is known for her impeccable time, feel-good pocket, powerful yet tasteful touch, stylistic versatility, and bright personality.