Biography (Courtesy of the Artist's site, 2007)
Jazz:: Kevin has been active on the scene since late eighties. In 1987 he became involved in the “John Rae Collective “ of which he was a founder member. In January 1988 he toured France with Tommy smith and Ian Froman. In 1990 he toured Czechoslovakia and Canada with ‘The John Rae Collective” and recorded their Album 'The Big If Smiles Again’. Around this time he also started working with “Tom Bancroft Orchestra”.
1991 Started group “The Kevin Mackenzie Quartet “ featuring Julian Arguelles on saxophone (Carla Bley /Loose Tubes): 1991 moved to New York where he managed to play with many up coming and established players such as Joe Locke, Adam Rogers (Lost Tribe, Bill Evans group, Norah Jones), Roberta Picket, Craig Handy, Ben Perowski and Victor Jones.
1992: Returned to Scotland where resumed work with his quartet. Received “SAC” grant for rehearsal and development of the band. Toured Scotland and was featured along side guitarist Robben Fords power trio, Bob Berg and Mike Stern and Seminal Jazz figure Ornette Coleman. 1994:started up electric jazz based “Coolgroove “ which incorporated the talents of Russell Cowieson, Colin Steele, Dave Milligan, John Speirs and Iain Copeland. This band included many contemporary music styles and was a regular feature at dance clubs such as ‘Big Beat’ and ‘JU JU Jazz’ They were also featured as a support for ‘Jazz crusaders “ on their Scottish Tour.
The band gradually changed as did the Personnel and eventually became ‘Swirler’.
‘Swirler’ toured regularly including a trip to Tblisi, Georgia as part of their art and theatre festival and supporting ‘Hue and Cry’ at Haddington Music festival 1999. They also have a CD out on “Caber Music”. Their music is contemporary and blends the hard edged east coast sound of ‘Steve Coleman’ with ‘Drum n’ Bass’ and ‘House’ styles.
Kevin is a member of “Trio AAB”. Featuring Phil and Tom Bancroft.. This trio experiments with all types of music and their album “Cold Fusion” won Radio Threes jazz album of the year 1999. They performed at Bath Music festival in 2000 where the “Sunday Times” sighted them as one of the festival highlights and 2003 their album ‘Stranger things happen at C’ featuring Brian Finnegan toured as part of CMN’s ‘Double Helix’ project
In 2000 he performed with his Quartet this time featuring amazing drummer Ari Hoenig and performed a new set of music which was the result of a joint commission from the ‘SAC’ and ‘Assembly Direct’ at the “Edinburgh jazz Festival.
In 2001 Kevin received the prestigious ‘Creative Scotland Award’, which he used to write and record music for his nine-piece band ‘Kevin Mackenzie’s Vital Signs’. The CD received rave reviews including album of the month in The Observer and CD of the week in The Guardian.
Kevin is a regular member of the 'Scottish Guitar Quartet' who have their fourth album a compilation released by German guitarist peter Finger and are set to play at the 'Vienna Guitar Festival in 2006'
As well as these regular outfits he has performed with many established jazz musicians including Pete King, Benny Carter, Kenny Wheeler, Julian Argueles, Tommy Smith, Joe Locke, Bobby Wellins, Jim Mullen, David Berkman, Reid Anderson, and many others.•
Traditional Music: Kevin has been playing Traditional since the late eighties when band “The Giant Stepping Stanes “ were formed. The band featured John Rae, Tommy Smith, Phil Bancroft and Colin Steele. They soon had some concerts and television appearances. Most of the band were best known as Jazz musicians and soon they inspired musicians such as Cathol McConnel (Boys of the Loch) to come and sit in on rehearsals, swap ideas and teach them tunes.
1993: Met up with concertina player Simon Thoumire and formed “The Simon Thoumire Three”. This trio was based on tradition, Jazz and improvisation. They recorded two albums ‘Waltzes for Playboys’ and ‘March Strathspey and Surreal’, toured extensively in the U.K. and countries such as; Canada, Poland, Germany, Holland, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland and America. Kevin also started playing with many traditional players such as Martyn Bennett, Ealidh Shaw, Charlie McKeron (Capercaille), Brian Finnegan (Fluke), Simon Bradley and Karen Tweed.
1997: Joined traditional band ‘Keep it Up” and recorded an album of the same name.
1998: Played at Tonder festival in Denmark and the “Shetland Folk Festival”. 1999 toured Canadian festivals.
1999: Recorded a CD with Gaelic singer Alyth McCormick and performed at the “Fruit Market “in Glasgow as par of Celtic Connections.
2000:Recorded on John McCuskers (Battlefield Band, Recipient of 1999 Spirit of Scotland Award), new CD “Yella Hoose” Joined “CMC” (fiddle players Claire McGlaughlin And Marianne Campbell (Deaf Shepherd).) and Supported Liz Carroll in Glasgow. Recorded on young up-coming piper Findlay Macdonald’s new CD.2003;
Recorded a new Album with the Finlay Macdonald Band ‘Pressed for Time’ and ‘On Safari’ with Keep it Up. Toured with Shetland band Fiddlers Bid in Germany, Sweden and the UK Collaborated with Swedish Super group Vassen.
2004: Toured with Kevin Henderson and Jenna Reid in Sweden and toured extensively with Finlay Macdonald.
2005; Released ‘With Silver an All ‘Jenna Reid , recorded ‘Experiments in Culture’ Simon Thoumire. Toured With Julie Fowlis,
Current: Touring with Jenna Reid, Finlay Macdonald, Sunhoney “The Scottish Stepdance Company”; Accordion player Leo McCann “featuring fiddle player Aiden O’Rouke. Jenna Reid Fiddlers Bid.
• Contemporary: I Have recorded and toured with pop band “Hue an Cry”. Recorded/Performed with Rap /Soul band “Blackanized” the ‘East Coast Project’ and Coco and the Bean and am involved in a current rap project.
• Academic: 1985/86 studied with Neil Munroe Jazz and composition. 1987 Studied at Leeds college of music. 1990 studied post grad in Advanced jazz at “Guildhall School of Music and Drama “ London 1991/92. Moved to New York where studied with, among others, John Abercrombie and Barry Harris.
• Teaching: Has been giving private tuition since 1986. 1990 taught jazz and harmony at G.I.T in London. 1990 Toured schools with “Tom Bancroft Orchestra” taking workshops and getting the pupils to play with the band. Taught workshops on ”Alternative Accompaniment for Traditional Music” at ‘Celtic Connections’ 1995: Performed a weekend of Jazz guitar workshops to 20 children between the age of 10 and 17 in Dunoon. October 1999 toured schools in Scotland with traditional band ‘Keep it Up” and a Welsh Group taking workshops in Welsh and Scottish Celtic traditions, their similarities and differences. 1999: taught traditional guitar accompaniment at Strathclyde Universities Jordan Hill Campus.
I have also taught at: Aberdeen schools with Phil and tom Bancrofts “Aberdeen jazz school.” Programme .
1998 “Shoots and Roots” festival.
Performances and workshops in Pilton and Muirhouse in conjunction with ‘NEA’, ‘Trio AAB’ and Iona Kewney.
2002: taught on NYOS Jazz summer school and Wiston lodge ‘Traditional music summer school’.
Current: Kevin is a respected private tutor and has been brought in as a guest tutor to Broughton High School, Strathclyde University, Newcastle University, Edinburgh University and many others. He is currently involved in ‘The Wallace Project’ marking 700 years since the death of William Wallace, involving young guitarists from Stirlingshire schools in the performance of a new piece by Allan Macdonald
“Hue and Cry”. “Stars Crash Down”
“John Rae Collective “: “The Big If Smiles Again” 1990 Iona Records
“Keep it Up”: ”Keep it up” 1998 “Foot Stomping’ Records “
Simon Thoumire and Fergus Mackenzie “Exhibit A” “Iona”
“Simon Thoumire Three”: “Waltzes for Playboys” 1993 black crow Records
“The Tom Bancroft orchestra” “Pieology” 1997 “Caber Music”
“Coco and The Bean” “Western Ways” 1995 “Momentum Music
“Simon Thoumire Three”: March Strathspey And Surreal”1996 “Green Linnet “
“Simon Thoumire Orchestra”: “Celtic Connections suite” 1998 “Tartan Tapes
“Hamish MacGregor”: “Scottish Love songs” 1998 “Tartan tapes
“Swirler”: “Swirler” 1998 “Caber Music
Trio AAB: ‘Cold Fusion 1998 Caber Music
“John Burgess” “The Urge to Burge” 1999 “Caber Music”
‘Blackanized” “Blackanized” 1999 “Yush Records”
“Simon Thoumire “:“Theme for a new Scottish Parliament”
“Finlay Macdonald” “Finlay Macdonald” 2000 “Tartan tapes”
“John McCusker” :Yella Hoose” 2000 “Temple Records
Alyth McCormack”: “Alyth McCormack’ 2000 “Vertical.
Sunhoney: ‘November’ 2001 Vertical
The Scottish Stepdance Company’ Sole Music 2003 Footstopmping Records
The Scottish Guitar Quartet: Near the circle 2001 Caber music
Trio AAB :Wherever I lay my home that’s my hat’ 2001 Caber Music
The Scottish Guitar Quartet: fait Accompli’ 2002 Circular Records
The Finlay Macdonald Band: Pressed For Time; 2003 Footstomping records
Trio AAB: ‘Stranger Things happen at C’ 2003 Caber music
“Scottish Power Pipe Band” 2004
Kevin Mackenzie’s Vital Signs : ‘Another New Horizon’ 2004 Caber Music
Keep it Up: ’On Safari’ 2004 Footstomping records
John Rae’s Celtic Feet: Baware the Feet; 2001 Caber Music
Konrad Wizenieski ‘Konrad Wizeniewski Quintet 2005. Independent
The Scottish Guitar Quartet: ‘landmarks’ 2005 Circular Records
Experiments in Culture :Simon Thoumire 2005 footstomping Records
Jenna Reid: With `Siliver an’ All” 2005 Footstomping Records
Up coming releases
Tom Bancroft Orchestra
Trio AAB :Live at Henrys
HRM: Kevin Henderson, Jenna Reid, Kevin Mackenzie
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