BIO

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Kevin began playing guitar at the age of 9.  He was trained as a jazz guitarist but spent an equal amount of time playing in the pop genre.  At the age of 16, Kevin was introduced to the professional scene by jazz great Hank Marr when he joined Hank’s jazz organ trio.  Hank was Kevin’s music teacher at the performing arts high school where he attended.  Quickly becoming known throughout his hometown for his consummate skills on both guitar and bass, Kevin soon found success on the national stage when he served as a sideman for pop and jazz legend Ray Charles in 1984. His soulful guitar solo on Ray Charles’ “Winter Wonderland” can still be heard each Christmas season throughout the world. Further, over the years, Kevin has performed, recorded, or toured alongside a number of artists including Charles Earland, Jimmy Smith, George Howard, Diane Schuur, Destiny’s Child, The Winans, Oleta Adams, Dr. John, and Lalah Hathaway.

 

Stepping from behind the scenes in 2005, Kevin began his transition from sideman to frontman with his first project- a jazz cd of hymns entitled HIM. This project generated much attention and critical acclaim in the music industry with Kevin receiving a Stellar nomination as well as two national music awards.  

 

Besides being a performer, Kevin is a writer, producer, and educator.  He has owned a private recording studio for nearly 15 years. Kevin co-wrote (with his wife Cynthia Turner) and produced two projects by the national recording gospel ensemble Cynthia Turner and Heartspeak. This award-winning group performed across the country in the 2000s and was featured on BET’s  "Bobby Jones Gospel Show."

 

Kevin holds an undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois Moreover, for nearly 20 years, Kevin has been a music educator. On the college level, Kevin has served as a faculty member in the jazz department at the Ohio State University as well as taught in the jazz department at the University of Illinois. Further, he has designed and taught a beginning guitar course for both the high school and college levels; taught in an award-winning middle school jazz band program and led an award-winning orchestra at the middle school and high school levels instructing students in the study of violin, viola, cello, and string bass. 

 

Kevin presently tours and records with Grammy award-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum. His artistry is most recently featured on Kirk Whalum's album Romance Language and album/live DVD Gospel According to Jazz Chapter IV.  He is also currently the professor of jazz guitar at The Ohio State University and performs locally with his trio and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Kevin is married to wife Cynthia and is the father of three.