Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Possessing an easy, effortless style that swings, Kevin's treatment of standards conveys an understanding of the culmination of melody, rhythm and lyric. While he loves standards, he does not think that they should be held in such esteem that they cannot grow and evolve. Standards are not defined as being written between 1910 and 1950, they were just the pop tunes of that day. Rodgers and Hart wrote standards but so did Linda Creed and Thom Bell. Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder and Sting all composed standards Their pieces will be played 50 years from now and still sound fresh. Kevin says that his pursuit as an artist is to find those tunes and be part of the presentation that paints the picture with new colors. Check out his work on Lennon and McCartney's Can't Buy Me Love.
Music, and singing especially, have always been an integral part of is life and as he says I can't remember any phase of my life when I wasn't singing, I still recall my rendition of Moon River at P.S. 111 in the Bronx, New York. Kevin' musical education started in a way that many younger generation pick up the love; through his parents. I grew up in a small apartment where the television and the record player were in the living room. If I wanted to watch TV and my parents wanated to listen to Johnny Hartman or Errol Garner, guess who won. Sooner or later though, the benefits of his parents' musical taste made their way into his head even though that taste had to share space with the Ohio Players, Sly and the Family Stone and Tower of Power.
Growing up in New York City presented Kevin with a wide array of musical opportunities. He met future bassist Mike Boone when both were early members of the Boys Choir of Harlem. During a 2 year drama stint with a Harlem theater company he worked with a young Tupac Shakur. Kevin has done the requisite Amateur Night at the Apollo and performed at New York city clubs such as Sweetwater's, the West End and Lennox Lounge. With the exception of the Apollo oand Lennox Lounge, he performed these venues working with an R&B vocal trio thet covered R&B hits. It was challenging because while R&B covers are supposed to sound just like the record, I was always more interested in bending notes and shifting phrasings to the way I heard them in my head. I was still evolving.
Arriving in Philadelphia to attend law school, Kevin was free to let his jazz roots take hold and he began to soak up the rich jazz culture. He has performed with his own trio at Zanzibar Blue, Ortlieb's Jazzhaus, the Pyramid Club, Illuminarie, Rembrandt's and the Loew's Hotel. He is often the guest vocalist at the Four Season's Hotel. Kevin loves the imprmptu nature of jam sessions and can often be heard at Ortlieb's, La Rose or Chris' Jazz Cafe (Where else can you ust show up and play with the likes of Byron Landham, Tom Lawton or Butch Ballard of Basie fame?).
Do yourself a favor, catch this guy soon because he is the real thing.