Ted is a third generation drummer. His grandfather, Theodore L. MacKenzie (Ted’s name sake) was a Kiltie drummer in the High lands of Scotland. Theodore emigrated from Forest Scotland in the late 1800s, settling in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Ted’s father, Malcolm MacKenzie a jazz drummer, started Ted drumming at the age of 5. Ted started with the practice pad and then on to his dad’s old Leedy trap set until his dad purchased his first drum set the age of 11. Ted’s dad trained him by bringing home jazz records that he would listen to and play along with for hours at a time.
Ted was involved with all of the school bands and joined the local Fire House marching band at the age of 10. He joined his first contemporary band at the age of 14. Bill Railey and Steve Mulwitz where his first private drum instructors in the late 50s and early 60s. Ted attended Berklee College of Music and studied with Lou Maniana followed by his studies in NYC with Sonny Igoe, Henry Adler and Jim Chapin in the late 60s.
From 1969 to 1978 Ted was a full time working drummer playing contemporary rock ‘n roll. Chirco, The Blues Image, The Simms Brothers Band, Billy and the Beaters, Root Boy Slim and Jack McDuff are a few of the groups he has performed/recorded with.
Ted currently performs with The Jon LeRoy Trio, The Ray Alexander Trio, The Teresa Broadwell Quartet, Thriv’n on a Riff and The Happy Hooligans in upstate New York.
In 2005 Ted revised Buddy Rich’s Modern Interpretation of Snare Drum Rudiments written in collaboration with Henry Adler. In 2006 Ted authored The Ultimate Drummer’s Workout and in 2008 Ted authored the follow up book to Buddy’s snare drum book, Buddy Rich’s Rudiments Around the Kit.
Ted has been teaching drums since 1966 and is currently teaching at his private studio in Ballston Lake New York.