Billy Kilson's BK Groove
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Billy Kilson's BK Groove


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The best kept secret in music


"Various Quotes"

"But the secret weapon here is drummer Billy Kilson who elevates the proceedings with an uncanny combination of precision, power and grace. He beautifully underscores the ethereal vibe on 'Bedouin Trail' with subtle use of mallets then erupts with explosive snare-tom accents in the midst of some sizzling ride cymbal-hi hat work on the urgently swinging 'Herbaceous' that mark him as the new heir to Tony Williams' chair. Kilson even offers a tonlling Cobhamesque solo on 'Ario.'"
--Review of Dave Holland Quintet's Points of View
by Bill Mikowski, Jazz Times, January/February 1999

"Driven by Kilson, who comes off as an unholy blend of Jimmy Cobb and Billy Cobham, the vibist's solo authorizes the music to go anywhere."
--Review of Dave Holland Quintet's Points of View
by Jim Macnie, Down Beat, January 1999

"Simply put, Thursday's concert was, without question, the best I've seen at the Guild. Ever. From the elastic improvisations from saxophonist David McMurray to the showmanship and chops of drummer Billy Kilson and the rock-solid grooves courtesy of bassist Al Turner, the pianist and his quartet offered so much music you didn't want to leave. The band -- and mark my words, it was a band -- also did two encores, unheard of for a Guild show.…Kilson's performance was especially solid throughout…But the man can play in time and doesn't dominate the bandstand. "
--Bob James Trio concert review
by Rick Nowlin, Post-Gazette

"Instead, the fascinatin' rhythms established by Holland and drummer Billy Kilson issue effortlessly through the melodic content of the horns and vibes so that the meters are felt, as they should be."
--Dave Holland, Prime Directive
by Don Williamson, 52nd Street

"Crucial to the sparseness is drummer Billy Kilson who, like Leon Parker, has found ways to be extremely open and conversational with a minimum of notes."
--Dave Holland Quintet, Points of View

"Billy Kilson and Chris Potter show that the next generation of Masters has arrived. Kilson is impeccable in his support, never leaving a soloist wondering. His solo work is always musical (something many percussionists forget)."
--Dave Holland Quintet, Prime Directive
Jazz At A Glance

"Extra kudos go to Holland’s drummer, Billy Kilson, who redefined the ways that the drums can be played. The drummer was bursting with energy, élan and enthusiasm and he led the band into unimaginable rhythmic directions."
--Dave Holland concert, Festival International De Jazz De Montreal
Benson Knickerbocker, The Vermont Review

"Billy Kilson, who melds a jazz drummer's precision with a rocker's exuberance, drops thunderous fills on the title track -- and imparts a contagious playfulness throughout."

"Billy Kilson on drums stole the show constantly with his laser sharp staccato drum rhythms. His credits include stints with Ahmad Jamal, Diane Reeves, Terrance Blanchard, Bob James and a recent feature on Dave Holland's latest CD. Ouch. It was like stepping into another world for two hours in that intimate theatre in Spartanburg."
--By Gene Berger, Giant Steps

"Each member of Holland's group performed long flamboyant solos with maybe drummer Billy Kilson's being the best."

"Drummer Billy Kilson, with his spitting precision, is constantly examining the beat from one angle, then another."
--Review of Dave Holland Quintet's Prime Directive
by Paul de Barros, Downbeat, May 2000

"Kilson's composition 'Wonders Never Cease' is the most athletic workout of these sessions, with numerous shifts in tempos and dynamics that interweave among the different soloists."
--Review of Dave Holland Quintet's Prime Directive
Herald-Sun, Durham, NC, March 24, 2000

"His rhythm section partners, drummer Billy Kilson and electric bassist David Dyson, have both mind-boggling chops and enough innate musicality to carry the show by themselves. This is truly a great band."
--Tim Hagans / Bob Belden Re-Animation LIVE! Review
Jazz Weekly

"Young drummer Billy Kilson is appreciated for the "hunger and conviction" with which he approaches each selection; he rounds out the quintet, which sounds as if it were born to play together."
--Dave Holland Quintet, Points of View
by J. Robert Bragonier, 52nd Street Jazz

"Although Kilson's extroverted explosiveness sometimes threatened to topple the cart, no member had any problem holding his own in any situation."
--Dave Holland Live
By Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

"Kilson, an aggressive, hard-hitting drummer whose energy level makes him an obvious mate for Holland, took a couple of impressive, chopsy solos."
--Dave Holland Concert review
by Paul de Barros , Special to The Seattle Times

"Holland is of course a powerful virtuoso, and he's well matched here by his cohorts, Chris Potter on saxophones, Robin Eubanks on trombone, Steve Nelson on vibraphone and the outstanding young drummer Billy Kilson."
Dave Holland Quintet, Prime Directive

"Forget the usual rap about ECM releases being too somber and stiff: Holland and drummer Billy Kilson catapult through such songs as "High Wire" and "Prime Directive," challenging soloists and adding their own punch to choruses."
--Dave Holland, Prime Directive Review
Nashville Scene

"Like Duke, Holland is in the fortunate situation of having an ensemble of high caliber players for whom to write. The group he will bring to Ann Arbor is composed of Robin Eubanks on trombone, Antonio Hart on alto and soprano saxophones, Steve Nelson on vibraphone and Billy Kilson on drums. These musicians, while sidemen in this group, rank among the top crop of musicians in the contemporary jazz world."
--John Uhl,
The Michigan Daily Arts Writer

"One of the most exhilarating elements of a Dave Holland Quintet, is the interaction between the leader on bass and drummer Billy Kilson: As the two stare each other down, miles of musical ecstasy spread across their faces as they weave complex rhythms, challenging each other to take the music to deeper levels."
--Jason Koransky
Downbeat, November 2000

- Quotes About Billy Kilson

"Awards and Recogitions"

Grammy Wins
2002 What Goes Around Dave Holland Big Band

Grammy Nominations
2001 Not For Nothing Dave Holland Quintet
2000 Prime Directive Dave Holland Quintet
1998 Points of View Dave Holland Quintet

Other Grammy Nominated Albums
featuring Billy Kilson
2000 re: Animation Live! Tim Hagans and Bob Belden
1999 Joyride Bob James
1999 It's All About Love Carla Cook
1999 Animation Imagination Tim Hagans
1997 Joined At The Hip Bob James and Kirk Whalum
1995 Quiet After The Storm Dianne Reeves

DownBeat 2002 Critics Poll
#1 Talent Deserving Wider Recognition for Drums: Top 10

DownBeat 2001 Critics Poll
#1 Talent Deserving Wider Recognition for Drums

DownBeat 2000 Critics Poll
#9 Talent Deserving Wider Recognition for Drums
- Billy Kilson:


Album: While Ur Sleepin' featuring guest appearances from Bob James, Dave Holland and Robin Eubanks.


Feeling a bit camera shy


BK Groove is a musical melting pot. Their funky jazz fusion is a summation of the vast talents, experiences and influences from each individual band member. Their discographies include some of the most recognizable names in jazz today. As sidemen, they have toured all over the world, recorded with some of the top musicians, and received numerous accolades, rave reviews, nominations and awards (including one Grammy). So when they came together and began creating their own sound, it was no surprise that the music was diverse, original and inspired.

Billy Kilson, drummer and leader of BK Groove, was exposed to jazz, funk and R&B at an early age. As a child, he listened to groups such as Sly and the Family Stone, Earth Wind and Fire and The Parliament and played drums to accompany their records. He was also exposed to a variety of genres through his father’s massive recording collection consisting of music from Count Basie and Duke Ellington to Junior Walker and James Brown. After graduating from Berklee School of Music, Kilson toured with Donald Byrd, Ahmad Jamal, Dianne Reeves, Bob James, George Duke and many others. As one of the top drummers in jazz, he is frequently named near the top in Down Beat’s reader’s and critic’s polls. Billy recently won a Grammy for his work with the Dave Holland Big Band.

Bassist Kenny Davis’ career began by listening to great R&B artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Brothers Johnson and the Temptations. A self taught musician, he first discovered jazz at Northeastern University. His jazz influences include Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, Jaco Pastorius and Verdin White. Davis’ touring experience includes appearances with Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Art Farmer, Abbey Lincoln and Cassandra Wilson. In 1999, Davis was invited by Kevin Eubanks from “The Tonight Show” to join their band and was a regular on “The Tonight Show” for three years before returning to New York to tour, record and teach.

Michael Sim, BK Groove’s saxophonist, literally has a world of experience. He has lived in New York, Toronto, Montreal and parts of Europe. This gave him the opportunity to work with a variety of artists such as Phil Dwyer, Pat Collins, German organist Barbara Dennerlein, Dennis Chambers, Roy Hargrove and many others. Upon returning to the United States, Sim toured with Michael Franks, Mingus Big Band, and Lee Ritenour. He has made several original recordings as well as worked on other recordings and film soundtracks. While at Berklee College of music, Sim had the opportunity to perform with Clark Terry, Sonny Emory and Joe Williams. He has received the Boston Jazz Society award and received a merit award from Berklee.

Henry Hey began playing classical piano at the age of four and trumpet at age twelve. This dual musical experience exposed him to a vast palette of solo and orchestral music. After studying at the University of North Texas he moved to New York and pursued a career in music. He has toured all over the world including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, The U.K., The Netherlands, The Czech Republic, Spain, France, Japan, Thailand, and Brazil. His touring and recording include work with jazz artists such as Till Broenner, saxophonist and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, as well as mainstream artists such as Rod Stewart Harry Belafonte. Other credits include work with P.M. Dawn, Taylor Dayne, Chuck Loeb, Dean Brown, and Blood Sweat and Tears.

As BK Groove, they come together as seasoned musicians, reading each other like a favorite book, anticipating the next move perfectly, stepping out to solo at the perfect moment and keeping the groove going at all times. The quality of their musicianship is second to none. The uniqueness of their music will incite heads to bob and feet to dance. Whether on the road as a sideman or touring together as BK Groove, this band proves why they have some of the most enviable resumes in music.