Primary Instrument: Various
About Kelvin Roy
Kelvin grew up in Flint, Michigan. His father was from New Zealand and relocated to the United States after travelling there as a Fulbright scholar. Kelvin had copious lessons on piano and trombone, plus some voice training from an early age. He attended Flint Central High School, playing in many school bands and he was active in drama as well. He also taught himself how to play other brass instruments like baritone and bass trumpet. The latter--also called a marching valve trombone--became his main instrument. Since his father was an arts critic, he was able to see many first class acts as a child. Later, he went on the road with a couple popular funk and jazz bands playing clubs after attending Michigan State University.
Then he moved to South Lousiana and had some amazing musical experiences, sometimes literally out in the swamps. He became engrossed in the pot pourri of country/rock/southern r&b/jazz performing around the state at festivals and in clubs. After a few years he went west to California, following Horace Greeley's advice. There, he played mostly Motown, jazz and Latin in a variety of settings with artists like Matt Catingub and Brenton Woods.
He decided to move to New Zealand, to discover more about his roots. The jazz scene was popular and he got involved. He also founded a Latin group. Then there was some time in San Fransisco playing jazz. He also worked with Janice Pendarvis (of Sting fame) in New York. Back in New Zealand he started a band called Gyrotayshin and they put out an album of his compositions. He also did studio work for other labels and producers. Then he started the popular BlueStars band. And he founded a group called the Jews Brothers Band, which did klezmer music. This band also became popular and put out an album - one of the first CDs in the world to have CD-rom video and music on the same disc.
He created the Martian Music label and released a CD in 1997 called 'inner space'. Quotation: '...a consummate and seamless blend of adult-oriented pop'--Gary Steel, The Strip, New Zealand. Around this time he became a fixture at some the New Zealand's best jazz festivals like Waiheke Island of Jazz. The next year he followed up with an album called 'just can't stop'. Quotation: 'This album is a musical Big Kids Meal with toy included'-- Javier Antonio Quinones Ortiz, www.allaboutjazz.com. This album received some radioplay and the title track was on the Kiwi Hit Disc that year. It was what radio calls AC (Adult Contemporary) or Smooth Jazz Vocal. For the Millennium, he put out a promotional disc with a special song, 'times of our lives', plus a song from each of the previous albums. It was mostly electronic music. It received radio airplay in the US and New Zealand. Quotation: 'We've playlisted Times of our lives'--Sandy Shore, www.smoothjazz.com.
Since the BlueStars band had been together about five years, he decided to do a CD of a live jazz performance. The 'Around the World of Music Live at the Loaded Hog' album was released in 2001 to very favourable press. It captured his travels in music. It was just after this that he met his future wife--Colleen--at the National Jazz Festival, of which she was the Treasurer. They travelled through New Zealand--getting engaged in Queenstown--and visited Australia. In 2002, they married and Kelvin was contracted as a songwriter to Boa Records in Canada. They went to Australia on their honeymoon. Then they moved to South Australia. Here they were able to further indulge their tastes in art, red wine, and roaming the wide open spaces. Kelvin's 'Around the World of Music Live at the Loaded Hog' CD charted in the Top 20 on US jazz radio in 2003, including #1 on KAFM in Grand Junction, Colorado. Quotation: Kelvin Roy is singlehandly putting New Zealand on the Jazz map!--James Williams, KAFM, Colorado, USA.
In 2004, Kelvin had some of his catalogue put on Satellite Music Australia. He also wrote several instructive papers on performance, composition and improvisation. Some of these were subsequently published. Kelvin and Colleen then returned to New Zealand's hills of green and gold to reconnect with the BUZZNZ in the land of Kiwis and Hobbits.
You could say it was the birds and the bees that were buzzing for not long after... in this magical land, a little boy named Gilbert was born. A creative son shone and life as we know it changed... and the beautiful music keeps ringing in our ears.
>> Interview with Kelvin Roy on allaboutjazz.com