George and I are thrilled to welcome Kevin Eubanks to the show! We've been fans for a long time so this is going to be awesome!
Kevin Eubanks, guitarist and prolific composer. He is well known by many as the former Music Director of The Tonight Show band, appearing on the show 18 years (1992 - 2010). His laid-back style and affability seems to belie the concentration and focus that have made him successful both as a consummate musician and a household name for late-night TV viewers.
Kevin was born into a musical household in Philadelphia, PA. His mother, Vera Eubanks, is a gospel and classical pianist and organist with a Masters Degree in music education. She has taught both privately and in the school system, until her recent retirement. Vera’s brother, the late Ray Bryant, was a journeyman jazz pianist who recorded and toured with jazz greats such as Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Sarah Vaughan not to mention a hit record of his own. Kevin was thus exposed to world-class music in his formative years as he began violin lessons, his first instrument, at age seven. His brother Robin, is a trombonist, arranger and tenured professor at Oberlin College and his brother Duane is consistently influencing so many younger musicians as a trumpet teacher and continues to expand his recording career. Kevin also studied the trumpet before making his commitment to the guitar which was solidified with his entrance to the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston from which he has received an ‘Honorary Doctorate’ degree. He has also received an ‘Honorary Doctorate’ degree from Redlands University in California.
Kevin moved to New York after attending Berklee College of Music where his career kicked off in earnest. He started playing with some of the greats of Jazz, including Art Blakey, Slide Hampton, McCoy Tyner, Sam Rivers, Roy Haynes, Dave Holland, Ron Carter and others. In addition to working in other bands, Kevin become the leader of his own group and traveled to Jordan, Pakistan, India and Kuwait on tours sponsored by the US State Department, not to mention the European/Japanese Jazz circuit which so many artists frequent.
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