Kevin Batchelor

Kevin Batchelor

 Borough of Bronx, New York, USA
BandWorld

'Grand Concourse' shows once more not only Kevin Batchelor‘s outstanding skills on the trumpet, but proves that he is equally at home in lead vocals. This album breathes the experiences of the Bronx urbanite - musically, but even more lyricswise -, evoking moods oscillating between mellow and melancholic. The sound is firmly based in classic Jamaican ska, with a good shot of rocksteady. Here and there, jazz and blues influences add extra flavor.
By Valentin Zill

Biography


Kevin Batchelor's debut solo performance on March 22, 2008 in Russia was a huge success. Joined on stage by members of the legendary Skatalites, Kevin Batchelor captivated the audience with his riveting trumpet solos and soulful vocals.
In mid-February, 2009, during his first USA tour in Florida, Kevin and world-renowned Saxophonist, Cedric IM Brooks, tore up the stages in the cities of Tallahassee, Downtown Gainesville, Cocoa Beach, and Jacksonville Beach. He has since given spectacular performances in his hometown of NYC, and fans are surely wanting more.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Kevin Batchelor met his destiny at the age of thirteen. Already an avid lover of music, he stumbled upon the Miles Davis record Milestones. Captivated by the sound of the trumpet, he instantly fell under its influence and realized that this was the instrument that he would strive to perfect.
Eventually, Kevin’s profound love for the trumpet brought him to the east coast, where he gained prestige as a scholar and performer at the Berklee College of Music (1971 Duke Ellington received the college's first honorary doctorate). In 1983, he left Berklee for New York City and never looked back. Upon arriving, he met reggae super star Sugar Minot, and in just a few months, found himself on reggae’s greatest stage, Jamaica’s Reggae Sunsplash. While touring with Sugar for ten years, he began to make New York his home, working with one of the top backing bands in the city. This perspective gave young Kevin a bird’s eye view to many of the Jamaican master singers, such as Frankie Paul, Alton Ellis and Delroy Wilson. In 1990, he joined band mate Sidney Mills and became a member of the top English Reggae band, Steel Pulse. In this seven-year stint, Kevin travelled all over the world, seeing Europe and South America for the first time. He then moved on with Big Mountain, who scored a big hit with a reggae cover of “Baby I love your Way.”

While the reggae world embraced Kevin, other gigs proved his versatility. Back in New York, Kevin landed a gig in the orchestra pit for the Broadway smash “The Full Monty.” At the same time, Kevin did studio work for hip hop artists such as Queen Latifah, Sean Paul and KRS One’s Boogie Down Productions to name a few.

Eventually, the road called for him and in 2002, he took the gig with Jamaica’s legendary Studio One house band, The Skatalites. Kevin joined the band as a humble sideman, fulfilling the trumpet chair alongside the original members who quickly became his mentors. As the years progressed, Kevin’s mileage, instrumental talent and knack for entertaining the crowd helped him solidify a more permanent and essential role in the band. With Kevin’s help, The Skatalites reached their 40th anniversary and are still on the move, reaching many parts of the world that have been listening to the sound they created for forty years and counting.

Influenced by the creative genius of Bob Marley, Louis Armstrong and several others, Kevin Batchelor’s voice is as much of an outlet as his trumpet. When he realized his talents as a lead vocalist, he formed his own bands, Batchelor Party and Kevin Batchelor’s Grand Concourse. He collaborated with producers Sidney Mills, of Living Room Records and Noel Alphonso on the recording and release of his debut CD entitled “Batchelor Party” (2006, Living Room Records) choosing choice covers and writing a few instrumental originals featuring the likes of Cedric IM Brooks (The Skatalites) and Sidney Mills (Steel Pulse). Later in 2008, Kevin teamed up with songwriter Jonny Meyers (The Stingers ATX), and producer Dan Jeselsohn (The Toasters, NY Ska Jazz Ensemble) for the recording and release of his second CD, “Kevin Batchelor’s Grand Concourse” (2011, Mossburg Music) featuring all original material.

As both a Trumpeter & Lead Vocalist, Kevin Batchelor effortlessly captures the attention of audiences worldwide with his masterful ensemble playing and spirited solos. No matter the time of year, day of the week, or location, you will always catch him working. Currently, he is bringing the music of Grand Concourse on tour, as he embarks on a long overdue solo career. According to Kevin Batchelor, music is life and life is good.

Credits: Queen Latifah, Rihanna, Sean Paul/Bunny Rugs, Marcus Miller, Sugar Minot, Keith Richards, Sly and Robbie, Jimmy Cliff, Dennis Brown, Beres Hammond, Steel Pulse, Maxi Priest, Shaggy, Maxwell, KRS-ONE, Burning Spear, Big Mountain, Black Rock Coalition, Sugar Minott, The Fleshtones, David Yazbek, Mark Ledford, The Meditations, Eek-A-Mouse, Harry Miller, Ms. Melodie, Shelly Thunder,  & Boogie Down Productions.

Discography

Kevin Batchelor's Grand Concourse (2011,Mossburg Music)
1- Leave It Alone
2- Blues
3- Sad Town, New York
4- Sunday
5- The Singer (dedicated to Laurel Aitken)
6- Fly
7- Five Minutes
8- Lonely One
9- Your Man
10- When You Lay Your Head
11- new Orleans
Bonus Tracks:
12- Where Are You Going
13- There Was a Time

Batchelor Party (2006,Living Room Records)
1- All My Tears
2- Things You Say You Love
3- Riding High
4- Beards Man Shuffle
5- Way Back Home
6- Barbary Coast- Engine 54 (featuring Mikey Jarrett)
7- Feel Good All Over (featuring Kimberly Miller)
8-Teardrops Falling
9- On The Beach
10- Walk The Streets
11- Heavier Than Lead
12- Barbary Coast Dub Mix