Kevin Hayden is a drummer/producer/composer, born in 1980, Fort Wayne IN, to the parents of Tracey and Robbin. Heavily influenced by his father, Kevin's interest in music sparked at the early age of 2. He comes from a long line of family drummers and was brought up in church where he was afforded the opportunity to play for various community choirs. When he was 13, he was noticed at his church by a well known choir director, Chris Ford, which led to his involvement in hundreds of local performances, a live recording with the Fort Wayne Youth Ensemble and tours in Georgia and Texas.
In 1994 Kevin continued to grow and mature on the gospel scene but was inadvertently introduced to the music of jazz drummer Will Kennedy (Yellowjackets) which changed his entire approach to drums. A year later, his uncle David Perkins introduced him to the cassette tape “Masterplan” by fusion drummer Dave Weckl. Studying day and night, Kevin was determined to gain these new concepts of jazz and fusion. His combination of gospel, fusion and jazz led to a distinct and unique style which captivated his listeners. In 1998 Kevin entered into the US Marines but his musical journey did not stop. In 1999 while stationed in Camp Lejeune NC, Kevin was fortunate to meet drummer Lamont Sydnor (Christina Milian, Wayne Brady) who was also in the Marines and at that time playing for the Mike Corrado Band. After hearing Kevin’s skills, Lamont saw his potential and quickly embraced him as a friend and began to broaden and shape his skills on the drum set.
After completing the Marines in 2002, Kevin moved to his mother’s home town of Milwaukee Wisconsin. It wasn’t too long before he drew the attention of other great musicians at various jam sessions and auditions. Since then, Kevin has worked with well known Milwaukee acts such as Christopher’s Project, De La Buena, Street Life, Growing Nation, the Terry Sims Band, the Evan Christian Quartet, Choir Fight, Isaiah Joshua Group, the Adventures of the Static Chicken, SLM, Ethan Keller and a host of other musicians and singers. In 2007, Kevin enrolled in the music program of Milwaukee Area Technical College where he studied music under one of Milwaukee’s premiere jazz drummers Ben Hans.
By 2008 Kevin had released a series of youtube videos which caught the attention of Gospel Chops CEO Gerald Forrest. This connection led to a spot on the 2009 Gospel Chops' bass performance DVD "Bass Sessionzs Vol 1". Here he had the privilege and honor to work on the same set as drumming legend Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Michael Brecker) and veteran pianist John Beasley (Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard).
Soon after the Gospel Chops recording and through the mentorship and guidance of Gerald, Kevin then recorded and released his debut album "Delegations And Assignments" which featured keyboardist Terry Harris Jr., bassist Damian Erskine (Peter Erskine Trio) and bassist/producer Lance Tolbert (Mariah Carey.) The success of the project then sparked Kevin to fulfill his music career by starting his own jazz fusion band, the “Kevin Hayden Band. This band featured keyboardist Theo Merriweather, bassist Dwayne Williams and saxophonist Tobias Cainion which debuted their live performance at the world famous Jazz Estate in Milwaukee.
In 2010, Kevin released his hit single “Distant" which featured his friends Joel Wade on keys, Christopher Marcellus on bass and Isaiah Joshua on alto sax. He also earned the Kevin Hayden Band a spot at the Milwaukee World Festival “Summerfest” and continued to perform regularly on the area’s premier jazz scene to include jazz clubs and festivals.
2011 proved to be a busy year as well with the release of the gospel/fusion performance track "Awaken", which features the music of Phillip Smedley II who also produced Kevin Hayden's "Skyline" on the Delegations And Assignments album. Soon afterwards came the Kevin Hayden Trio and the debut release of the trio's "The Winter Project" which features Evan Paydon on bass and Terry Harris Jr. on keys. Guest appearances include Isaiah Joshua on alto sax and vocalist Camille Hunt.
In early 2012 the trio acquired bassist Alan Harris and released their latest album "Paris". This album features tenor saxophonist Eric Schoor, alto saxophonist Isaiah Joshua, guitarist Darrien Williams and vocalist Camille Hunt. Also included is a very notable guest appearance by narrater Harrison D. Kern.
Kevin is much of a family man and enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Natalie and precious daughters Kayla and Rylee.
Kevin Hayden Band’s playlists