ABOUT KEVIN SCHMIDT
Kevin Schmidt is a bass trombonist and composer, formerly based in Minneapolis, MN and now based in New York City. He has composed and performed with a variety of ensembles, including symphony orchestras, jazz combos, chamber brass, symphonic bands, folk groups, electronic ensembles and rock bands.
In Minnesota Kevin collaborated with many inspired musicians and composers, most notably Douglas Ewart, Carei Thomas, Donald Washington and Todd Harper. He has been chosen as a featured performer and composer at The American Composers Forum's Landmark Center New Music Series, The International Trombone Conference and The Minnesota Trombone Workshop. Kevin has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from The McKnight Foundation, The American Composers Forum, The Saint Paul Landmark Center and The Walker Art Center.
Since moving to New York City in 1999, Kevin's bands have included Mark Dresser, Liberty Ellman, Drew Gress, Elliot Humberto Kavee, John Hollenbeck, Nathan Hanson and others. Kevin has performed in many venues in New York City and around the U.S.
In addition to his work as a leader, Kevin has performed behind a wide variety of musicians and entertainers, including Cecil Taylor, Eartha Kitt, Carol King, Harry Belafonte, Cy Coleman, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Tony Randall, Michael J. Fox, Kevin Klein and Alec Baldwin.
As a composer, Kevin draws upon many colors and textures, dividing his ensembles into varied groupings (in addition to the full powered onslaught). Exacting arrangements ease into extended open stretches of all sorts of improvisations. Some improvisations are "free" improvisations - actually spontaneous group compositions which tend towards lyricism rather than harshness. Kevin greatly enjoys harshness, but he usually prefers to compose his own harshness, which has its own pointed beauty.
Based on distinctive, sometimes quirky melodies, Kevin's music is sophisticated in rhythm, harmony and structure and full of deep yet changing emotions. Massive power gives way to delicate nuance. Driving grooves melt and then rise as free-floating melody. Intense colors flavor the entire brew.
Kevin utilizes the full range of the bass trombone, delving into the depths of the tuba range and climbing to the top of the range of the tenor trombone. Kevin's multifaceted technique is considerable, but it is always used in support of his musical ideas and personal musical expression. His horn can be a raging storm, a chortling clown, a profound wizard, a devastating avalanche, a gleeful child, a howl of grief, a shriek of horror or a shriek of joy.