Born in Detroit, Kevin began studying with a private musical tutor at age 4 and made his professional debut at 14 with the Well Tempered Clavichord, a teenage musical group of which he was a founding member. As he grew up, Kevin studied under Detroit Symphony pianist, Mischa Kottler, and attended the University of Michigan School of Music. He has also attended the New England Conservatory of Music, receiving a Bachelor of Music as well as a Master’s Degree in Performance. He spent several years playing in and around the Boston area before moving to San Francisco in 1990, where he began performing at a variety of live venues. His unique approach and ability to communicate earned a spot on the faculty as a theory teacher and vocal accompanist at Jazz Camp West in Santa Cruz in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1998.
Some say Kevin’s compositions can be compared melodically to classical music and wonder which composer’s music influences him most. Primarily Bach’s, which Kevin says is like the pyramids; the stones, or notes, fit together without mortar.
Kern considers himself a sensualist and when a scene is described for him to translate into his music. Because Kevin lives in a world that lacks the crisp detail of the fully sighted, his powers of concentration and description through music are intensified. Many of his compositions are filled with the sights, sounds and scents of the natural world — of gardens, mountains, the ocean and all of their soothing, healing, comforting and uplifting qualities. Kern says, “To think that my music is touching people I’ve never met and from all over the world is such a joy. Bringing this kind of music to others is what my life is really about.”
Kern recently returned from another triumphant tour through Asia where sold out performances, including one at the beautiful new Esplanade Theatre in Singapore, led to encores and standing ovations. Audiences in Korea broke into enthusiastic applause each time they recognized the beginning of one of his much-loved compositions. Kern has truly become a universal name for beautiful, relaxing music.