NAS Press Kit Cover 2-4-11 - Kevin Kit . In recent years ... take for granted, featuring the lyrical...
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In recent years America has seen a paradigm shift toward the manifestation of real, forward thinking change especially in the minds of people of faith.
Award Winning Pianist/Composer Kevin Toney and His New Trio Kevin Toney 3
To Release New America Suite on July 24th
Founding Member of the Jazz/R&B Band The Blackbyrds Blends Traditional Jazz and
Classical Music To Create A Musical Mosaic Which Pays Homage to America the Beautiful
On July 24th, award-winning keyboardist/composer/author Kevin Toney will be releasing an inspired proj-ect that blends traditional acoustic jazz trio music with the compositional expanse of classical move-ments. Titled New American Suite, the album intro-duces the artists dynamic new band, The Kevin Toney 3 (a.k.a. KT3 featuring Kevin Toney on pia-no, Michael Bradford on bass and Chris Coleman on drums). New American Suite is a 9-song work that Toney conceptualized with co-direction from music veteran Don Mizell as a salute to the spirit of the United States. It bows via Toneys own K-Tone Enterprises through Distribution 13. Arriving after six now-classic albums with 70s soul-jazz band the The Blackbyrds and seven acclaimed urban jazz solo albums, Kevin Toneys richly thematic New Ameri-can Suite marks the culmination of a uniquely distin-guished career in music and a flying start into higher musical altitudes. Simply stated, New American Suite is Kevin Toneys finest recording to date.
How sweet the soundpushing and advancing musical boundaries around.
It wasnt until after the bands songs were composed (primarily by co-producers Toney and Bradford) and recorded that the concept of New American Suite took shape. It was the music that told Toney what it was all about. The title track and first song is a suite in four sections each representing specific aspects of Americas traditions of music, Kevin explains. It begins with classical piano flourishes, moves into a swinging jazz section that mirrors the way we be-gan moving away from our European counterparts, then an Afro-Cuban section in 12/8 which builds to a powerful climax, followed by a tranquil return to the theme in closing. The music had a patriotic feel uplifting, propelling and encouraging. From my van-tage point, this represented America.
B I O G R A P H Y
Don Mizell - Kevins close friend and natural born conceptualist - was instrumental in shaping the individual song titles as well as the over-arcing theme for the project. This earned him the illustrious credit of Executive Creative Producer. And as the Grammy-winning co-producer of the great Ray Charles final recording, Genius Loves Company, Mizell clearly understands a thing or two about America! Kevin explains, In our effort to paint a consistent picture we came up with all of the song titles in one night.
Highlights of New American Suite include the brilliant and briskly driving E Pluribus Unum. Taking its title from the Latin term meaning out of many, one that has appeared on American currency, the piece finds the trio swingin hard yet in unity just as Americas founding fathers intended in maintaining a strong union. The feel-good number A Soulful Union con-tinues this theme in a stew of gospel, rock and soulful jazz that reflects the reawakening of collective spir-its to the truth that all men and women are created equal. Spacious Skies is a tranquil meditation of ap-preciation on the freedoms that Americans too often take for granted, featuring the lyrical bass playing of Bradford. Coleman sets up a tasty reggae swing hybrid on Love is All We Need over which Toney unconsciously recalls the breezy melodicism of the great Vince Guaraldi. The one non-original piece of New American Suite is a most original arrangement of Ragtime king Scott Joplins familiar 1902 classic The Entertainer (popularized again in 1973 as the theme for the movie The Sting). Our goal was to bring the composition into 2012 with reharmonization and a relaxed forward motion groove, Toney states.
A seasoned veteran, Kevin Toney first started playing piano at age five in his city of birth, Detroit, Michi-gan. His first teacher was his sister Helen. At eight, he added cello and alto saxophone to his skill set. He
Radio Promotions: Neal SapperNew World n Jazz510.705.1660www.newworldnjazz.com
New American Suite CD will be distributed by Distribution13http://www.distribution13.com/
For more information, contact: Jai St. Laurent-SmythInque Public Relations732.254.0607 firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
CD cover painting by Richard Mayhew Courtesy of the Kinsey Collection:Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey at the Smithsonian Institute.
New American Suite CD [KTE 1002] will be in stores July 24th.
later attended the prestigious Cass Technical High School and performed with many of his citys top musicians. Kevin graduated to attend Howard Uni-versity in Washington, D.C. where he earned his B.A. in composition and jazz studies. During his tenure, he became the leader of the The Blackbyrds, the inno-vative jazz-soul fusion sextet founded by jazz trumpet legend Donald Byrd. Kevin wrote and co-penned many of the bands most memorable music includ-ing the hit Rock Creek Park, All I Ask, and the brassy Grammy-nominated scorcher Unfinished Business. After six now-classic `70s Soul albums, the band disbanded and Kevin recorded his first solo LP, Special K in 1982.
Kevin Toney truly came into his own with his 1994 release Lovescape, featuring his composition Kings which became a staple of then burgeoning smooth jazz radio. Over the next decade-plus, Kevins sound evolved over seven more meticulously crafted CDs that found him experimenting in nearly every con-temporary music palette. He also became a fan fa-vorite presence on the American jazz festival circuit.
Beyond his own music, Kevin Toney has performed with an impressive survey of major artists that includes Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Kenny Burrell, Nancy Wilson, Whitney Houston, Shania Twain, Frank Sinatra, Carl Anderson, Oscar Brown Jr., Shirley Caesar, Pink, Isaac Hayes, Norman Brown, Andrew White and more. He also scored two films: the period drama Kings of the Evening (starring Lynn Whitfield and Tyson Beck-ford) and the documentary The Kinsey Collection (about a married couple that assembled the largest collection of African and African American artifacts in the United States). In fact, it is a work from their col-lection Fugue 2000 (oil on canvas) by renowned painter Richard Mayhew that graces the cover of Kevin Toney 3s New American Suite, courtesy of his dear friends Bernard and Shirley Kinsey.
As an author, Kevins books include The Virtuous Man, Breaking The Mens Code. This book addresses
the misconceptions (Mens Code) that men have learned from an early age regarding marriage and family, the baggage that men often bring into their marriages and their struggle in letting go of them. Other published books are The Kevin Toney Collec-tion, Volume I and Heart of Gratitude: Piano Solos.
Kevin is a mentor for the Manformation Project, a Los Angeles-based rites of passage setting that brings boys of 10-18 years of age into contact with Godly minded men to cultivate positive growth. Kevin and his wife - renowned costuming designer Phyllis Toney - also started The Toney Family Foundation which focuses on arts and music related philanthropy.
Kevins awards and achievements include two Grammy nominations, three RIAA Gold Record awards, NAACP Image Award, National Endow-ment For the Arts Fellowship Grant, and is a honorary member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.
Critical Acclaim for Pianist / Composer Kevin Toney Throughout his career as a pianist and composer, Kevin Toney has continually demonstrated why he is one of contemporary jazzs brightest and most inspiring talents. - Kenny Burrell, Jazz Guitar Legend I really dug New American Suite! Very original and refreshing mixture to hear. - Nicholas Payton, Grammy Award Winning Trumpeter "Kevin Toney, you burn it up on the piano, you are a master pianist! I love playing the music with you from your CD "New American Suite" -Alphonse Mouzon - Legendary Jazz Drummer and Composer I really love the New American Suite, I think it's Kevins most powerful work yet...so much passion and diversity, and thematically rich as well! - Jonathan Widran, Wine and Jazz Magazine Toneys intricate compositions and sophisticated piano playing are evidence of his rich and solid jazz, blues and gospel roots - Jazz Times Kevins piano skills and ear for melody set him apart from the pack and make him enjoyable and engaging. - Billboard Magazine Kevin Toney has proven himself to be among the most masterful and versatile keyboardist of his generation, playing with a technical proficiency that is at the absolute peak of the contemporary jazz game. - Scott Galloway, Urban Network
Wine and Jazz Magazine By Jonathan Widran KEVIN TONEY 3 - NEW AMERICAN SUITE Continuing the spiritually inspired compositional renaissance that began with his solo project A Grateful Heart (aka Heart Of Gratitude), the veteran Jazz keyboardist composer marks the debut of his new trio (bassist Mike Bradford and drummer Chris Coleman) on this ambitious, improvisation-rich exploration of many styles and traditions of American music. The expansive title track sets the tone, beginning with classical piano flourishes and evolving into swinging jazz and Afro-Cuban influences. "A Soulful Union" is an artful blend of gospel, rock, and jazz; the cleverly titled "Cyberia" is a super-rhythmic bebop romp; and, "In God We Trust" has a South American vibe. Toney's trio also heads to New Orleans and tips