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Kevin Toney

A world-renowned jazz recording artist and musician, composer/pianist Kevin Toney's music covers a broad range of styles and is timeless and classic yet always contemporary. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, he attended the prestigious Cass Technical High School and performed with many of the city's top jazz musicians including Marcus Belgrave and Donald Walden. His early musical influences included a mix of Bach, Debussy, Chopin, Art Tatum, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane.

While still a student at Howard University -- where he would later receive his B.A. in composition and jazz studies -- Toney was discovered by trumpeter and jazz studies department head Donald Byrd, who would put together a group of his best students; Toney became the leader of this groundbreaking jazz fusion group called the Blackbyrds. He recorded seven albums with the group, three of which were certified gold, and many of their hit songs, including "Rock Creek Park" and the Grammy-nominated "Unfinished Business," were Toney compositions.

He has numerous albums to his name as a solo artist, including Retrospectives, 110 Degrees and Rising, Sweet Spot, Strut, Extra Sensual Perception, Lovescape, Pastel Mood, and Special K. Strut was selected by the 2002 Winter Olympics Committee as part of its "official music" alongside works by Paul McCartney and Alicia Keys.

Toney has performed at major jazz festivals and concerts throughout the United States including the Capital Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival, the Long Beach Jazz Festival, the Jazz and Blues Festival in Denver, the Pasadena Jazz Festival, Chene Park, and others. As an educator, he conducts master classes and makes guest artist appearances at universities and schools around the country, including CSU Los Angeles, UC Irvine, East Carolina University, Howard University, Columbia College, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

Toney has recorded and or performed with many top artists, including Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, Sonny Rollins, O.C. Smith, Oscar Brown, Jr., Stevie Wonder, Kenny Burrell, James Newton, Andrew White, Carl Anderson, Whitney Houston, Pink, Shirley Caesar, Edwin Hawkins, Ted Neeley, Brenda Russell, George Strait, Shania Twain, En Vogue, Monica, Ray Parker, Jr., Isaac Hayes, Bobby Womack, James Ingram, Hubert Laws, Sonny Stitt, David "Fathead" Newman, Gerald Wilson, Bill Summers, Bill Withers, Cheryl Lynn, Norman Brown, Peter White, and more.

In addition, Toney has showcased his musical versatility as a conductor and arranger for top recording and performing artists including James Ingram, Patti Austin, Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Enrique Iglesias, Brian McKnight, Tyrese, Ja-Rule, Musiq Soulchild, Edwin Hawkins, Gloria Gaynor, Michael McDonald, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., Freda Payne, and Bill Withers. He has served as conductor and arranger for theatrical productions of Ain't Misbehavin', Five Guys Named Moe, Sophisticated Ladies, Harlem Suite, Wild Women Blues, The Magic of Motown (A Tribute to Berry Gordy), and Atlanta. He also scored the full-length feature film Kings of the Evening.

In 2012, Toney released the gospel-oriented A Grateful Heart, his first ever solo piano recording. The following year, he reunited with members of the Blackbyrds for several reunion shows and organized the Donald Byrd Acoustic and Electric Sessions concerts in San Francisco and New York. Toney then produced 2014's A Love Like Ours, the debut album by his daughter, vocalist Dominique Toney. In 2015, Toney kept busy as musical director for the theatrical production Words by Ira Gershwin. ~ Jonathan Widran
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Retrospectives

Disc 1
Disc 2

1. Celebration

2. Ariel's Dream

3. 15 Years

4. Pastel Mood

5. In Times Like These

6. Midnight Fantasy

7. Odyssey

8. Eternal Passion

9. Never Let Go

10. Sunday Morning

11. Pastel Mood Reprise

x

Track List: 110 Degrees And Rising

1. Day Trippin'

2. Ground Level Up

4. Quiet Conversation

5. 110 Degrees And Rising

8. Just Like The First Time

9. Never Far Away

x

Track List: Sweet Spot

1. Mister T

2. Sweet Spot

3. Midnight Blue

4. Dilemma

5. So Much Fun

6. Coast To Coast

7. Morning Rain

8. Better Than Ever

9. Nu "M" Jaz

10. Kiss

11. See You Again

12. Prelude To Portrait

13. Portrait Of You

Comments

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"I love the versatility of the piano. To be able to play a keyboard with different instruments, just as good, always could tickle me, when I would try."
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msreddst80
So smooth!!!! I should be on a beach somewhere watching the crashing waves or riding my motorcycle in the country somewhere! Love his music
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vernon19648
THIS MUSIC IS VERY SMOOTH
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gospelmoma71 6
I �� his music i make love to his music he's an awesome musician and person love his music Barbara Reaves
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Love his music. Fellow HU alum
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Love his style. it is so smooth.
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Love that sound
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this is one of my favorites by him
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I love it keep the good work up
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I listened to one of his CDs. I also watched him perform many years ago with Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds
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This is "classic" SJ. Thanks also Pandora.
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Yes! I'm hooked, too! Can't wait to find and hear more.....
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He is Great in my book , As a DJ his sound keeps me working hard and hardy! Keep up the Good Work,and God keep on Blessing you. One Love.
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The first time I heard him I was hooked love his music.
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Love the clear clean music!!!!! thanks
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My type music. It makes me soo relaxed.
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harden.s
I love all his music, thanks
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denisecollie r 0 9
1:38am and this is the type of music I like to relax to.❤��
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Great sound...smoo t h with a twist
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Music from back in the day, tickle the Ivory
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Beautiful dnjay
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candythecoug a r
Totally smitten by this sound. I admire your fingers Mr Toney!
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Perspectives by Toney sounded very very good. I like the smooth jazz of the ivories of a piano.
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Beautiful song
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kfrobert5
Very smooth indeed! Love the piano riffs - great fusion with the piccolo
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wilkarnet
Incredibly beautiful!
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Down with you. .back in the Day. .sounds like Joe Sample w/ The Cruisaders.
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Amazing
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Timeless
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Keep that smooth sound flowing bro.
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I Love love this song Oh my Goodness ��������
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Love this one
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SWEET SOUND.... perfect with my peach cobbler in Heaven's Kitchen!
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Up.....
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My late Husband Gregory Warner Dawson, Sr. played with him at City Lights in New Orleans! It was off the chain.
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God bleds you bro
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Kevin Toney...one of the big ones.god bleds you bro.for that talent...
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have blackbyrds, will have kevin toney
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Sounds just like the Detroit I remember Thx
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Detroit lives in you and your music, you do it well
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Wow you have worked with some of the best. Lov what you do on the ivory. I can hear Rodney Framklin ........ yeah
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hear a little Joe Sample in it!
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KT be doin da damm thang!...my first experience.. )
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So light and fetherly on that ivory. WOW!!!
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tomman30
smooth groove on the move....
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Keep doing your thing!!!!! Love it Bro Toney
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I love the blackbyrds! Give us more music toney!
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Deetroit!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Like Herbie Hancock, this dude is awesome and so smooth...
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emtdems1639
CD 101.9 was the only station that I listened to when it started and ended. Without them these artists would never be discovered. I like listening to Kevin and many others. Thank you Pandora for saving me
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