Since the release of his phenomenally successful debut CD, In the Enchanted Garden in 1996, Steinway Artist Kevin Kern has developed his own musical voice. In the years since, his recordings have ranged from the classically flavored cinematic melodies of Summer Daydreams to the organic acoustic textures of The Winding Path.
One of the hallmarks of Kevin’s recordings is the inclusion of piano solo pieces he refers to as “sound paintings”. Spontaneously improvised in a darkened recording studio, Kern uses the piano to “paint” musical pictures of scenes which are often suggested to him in the moment, such as rowing a boat across a lake after a summer rain (“After the Rain”), or a star-filled night sky (“A Million Stars”).
Six Billboard® charting releases have established Kern as one of the genre’s most successful composers and performers. A growing list of international film and TV credits has also helped him to garner a worldwide following. These credits include: NBC’s coverage of the 2000 Summer Olympics, Oprah, The Late Show with David Letterman, Live with Regis and Kelly, PBS, and commercials for companies including Mitsubishi and Blue Cross.
The opening and closing selections from Summer Daydreams, “Le Jardin” and “Return to Love”, were prominently featured in the groundbreaking Korean drama, Autumn in My Heart. This drama has been seen by more than 100 million people in over 40 countries, and has been instrumental in growing Kern’s global audience. Concert tours have taken him through the US and Asia with performances in Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China. Highlights have included a special performance for the G20 Summit in Seoul in 2010, an eight city tour with Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts in 2011, a five city tour of China in 2013 and a concert and masterclass as part of the Pyeongchang Special Music Festival for the Special Olympics of Korea in 2014.
In response to the growing demand for sheet music of his best loved compositions, Kevin has devoted his energies to the creation of solo piano arrangements of selected pieces from his catalog. Using state of the art technology designed specifically for blind composers, he has made over 80 songs available for pianists of all levels thus far. These pieces have been used in teaching programs around the world and have been played by students in Kevin Kern piano competitions sponsored in connection with his various tours.
A native of Detroit, Kevin Kern began playing the piano at the tender age of eighteen months. Though legally blind since birth, his exceptional talent soon became clear. The influences of lifelong friend and mentor, jazz great George Shearing, and Detroit Symphony Pianist Mischa Kottler helped Kern to develop an early love of improvisation and an appreciation for the beautiful sound a piano could produce. He continued his education at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he studied with Jaki Byard and Fred Hersch.
In 2012, Kern launched his own label, Kevin Kern Music, with the release of Christmas, a piano solo collection featuring sixteen timeless holiday favorites along with a companion songbook. A second album and songbook of brand new original music is planned for 2016, along with a return to the concert stage with performances in the US and Asia in support of the new release.