Faculty Spotlight: Kevin Dee

It’s Faculty Spotlight Friday again! This week, meet our guitar teacher, Kevin Dee:

I can recount two of my earliest musical experiences. One is in the living room bouncing up and down while my dad plays guitar and sings songs by the Grateful Dead, John Denver, Jerry Lee Lewis, and their contemporaries. The other is being roused by my mother on a Sunday morning with the song “Rise and Shine” and opening the curtains to my room. These experiences left me with a lasting sense that music is a powerful way to bring together family, friends, and community.

In my early stages of musical expression, I would spend hours on my own finding interesting sounds on the piano and the guitar. This way of entering into music left me with a lasting belief in free exploration and creativity.

I love music today as fluid exploration of what it means to be a human being. Whether I am taking my sacred alone time to imagine, practice, or compose, or whether I am playing a funk concert where the whole room is resonating, dancing, undulating with the collective groove, there is always more to find in this mysterious magic that we make.

These days I am a part of two collective musical projects – the Golden Bird Duo and Shokazoba Funkestra.

The Golden Bird Duo plays an eclectic blend of styles with original music. Earlier this year we released a CD entitled Fly, containing our original family-friendly and kid-friendly music. We also play originals and covers for general audiences.

I joined Shokazoba this year, a group which was formed 17 years ago to be a Fela Kuti tribute project, which now plays original funk music with both jazz fusion and afrobeat elements.

In addition to these musical projects I also write and perform my own original songs and compositions. This from a deep place that always takes bravery to share, but is always worth the while.

One thing that I love as an extension of music-making, which furthers my exploration of what it means to be a human being on this planet is Continuum, a form for somatic explorations involving breath, sound, and movement.