Kevin Hunt is a jazz pianist-composer who has performed regularly in the Sydney jazz scene since 1979.Kevin Hunt currently performs regularly with vocalist Emma Pask and pianist Simon Tedeschi.
The people who Kevin considers to be his most influential Australian artistic mentors are Ellis Hunt, Don Burrows AO MBE, Fr.Ted Kennedy, Chuck Yates, Dr Roger Frampton, John Speight OAM, Judy Bailey AOM, Graham Jones, Jepke Goudsmit, Sandy Evans,George Golla AM, Julian Lee, Paul MacNamara, Paul Grabowsky AO, Bill Motzing, Stephanie McCallum, Phil Slater, Dr John Bassett, Dr. Christopher Sainsbury, Professor Anna Reid, Wayne Stuart OAM,Deborah Cheetham AO.
As well as performing jazz music, Kevin teaches jazz studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has recently completed his PhD entitled ‘Perceptions of the Stuart & Sons piano: realising a creative, active vision.’ In this research Kevin analyses the unique sound produced by the Australian made Stuart & Sons piano. As an outcome of this research, Kevin collaborates musically with local and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians to produce new music for the Stuart Piano. This research has instigated the annual OUR MUSIC Indigenous music program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to encourage continued collaborations between Sydney’s Indigenous and non- Indigenous musicians.
Kevin’s school days were full of music, playing in brass bands, rock bands, singing in choirs and playing for church. His home life was also musical, learning classical piano from his father Ellis, listening to the classical violin of his sister Marianne, and being profoundly influenced by the blues-rock music played by his older brothers Bernard & John.
Kevin’s first jazz piano teachers were Chuck Yates, John Speight and David Levy.
In 1981 Kevin studied jazz at the Conservatorium with Don Burrows, Judy Bailey,Paul MacNamara, Roger Frampton, George Golla, Miroslav Bukovsky and Dick Montz.
Since the mid 1980s, Kevin has led his own jazz ensembles specializing in performances of his own compositions as well as classical composers JS Bach, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Leonard Bernstein. Kevin led a successful trio ‘the JS Bach Trio ‘with Lawrie Thompson on drums and Gary Holgate on bass. This trio won ABC FM’s the ‘listeners choice’ award in 1998 for the recording ‘Kevin Hunt Plays JS Bach’
1984-88, Kevin received rich composition and performance experience working regularly with the Kinetic Energy Theatre Company.
In 1986 Kevin was the Assistant Musical Director for Pope John Paul II Youth Celebration, SCG.
In 1987, Kevin Hunt was appointed prison education officer teaching music at Sydney’s Long Bay Correctional Facility. This was a most fulfilling experience for Kevin, teaching singing, guitar, piano and song writing.
In 1990 Kevin was awarded the ‘Jazz Musician of the Year’ MO Award.
In 1992, Kevin studied composition at the Conservatorium with Martin Wesley Smith, Greg Schirmer, Gillian Whitehead, Trevor Pearce.
In 1993, Kevin studied jazz performance with Josef Zawinul in Vienna.
Kevin has recorded jazz Cds with Don Burrows, Marie Wilson, James Morrison, Simon Tedeschi, TIm Hopkins, Adrian Mears, Janet Seidel, Steve Hunter, David Jones, Col Loughnan, Sandie White, Trevor Griffin, Debra Decembre.
In 1992, Kevin, Steve Hunter and David Jones formed the modern jazz trio ‘tree’. Tree produced two CDs ‘Tree and ‘Love & Logic’. Tree was a popular group in the 90s, and there frequent plans for reunion performances.
In 1994, Kevin was the Musical Director Costa Allegra Cruise Liner, Miami USA.
From 1995 to 2008, Kevin performed and travelled regularly with Australian jazz maestro Don Burrows. Kevin says ‘Don has generously shared with me his music and the world, a very fortunate partnership’. In 2000, Kevin and Don Burrows released a double CD of their musical union entitled Eye For Eye Vol 1 & 2.
Don Burrow’s intuitive teaching techniques have greatly influenced Kevin’s teaching style, particularly in teaching jazz improvisation.
Kevin and concert pianist Simon Tedeschi met in 1999, when both pianists were accompanying mouth organ virtuoso Larry Adler on his final Australian concert tour. Kevin says, Simon’s musical ability and friendship is truly inspirational.’
Kevin and Simon Tedeschi have produced two CD recordings, Woodlands (2010) and Duelling Schimmels (2009).
In 2001, Kevin was awarded the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust Jazz Scholarship for piano and composition studies in New York City.
Kevin lived in New York City for 4 months in 2001, studying composition with Mel Marvin at the New York University, privately with jazz pianist Kevin Hays, and composers Paul Winter and Anne Phillips.
As a result of this time in NYC, Kevin composed a jazz oratorio Ceremony A Celebration Of Life. Ceremony A Celebration Of Life was recorded and nationally broadcasted by the ABC for Easter Sunday 2002.
In 2002-04, Kevin taught jazz studies at the Australia International Conservatorium of Music, Harris Park Sydney.
In 2002, Kevin produced a highly regarded Jazz trio CD entitled Love Walked In , with Gordon Rytmeister (drums) and David Pudney (bass).
Kevin says, “I am influenced and awed by the artistry of musicians such as Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Bud Powell, and George Shearing. Love Walked In is an opportunity to explore these influences and pay homage to these great composers and players.”
In 2004, Kevin completed a Masters in Jazz performance (Mmus) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, under the supervision of Dick Montz, Bill Motzing and Phil Slater, with piano tuition from Stephanie McCallum. Kevin’s masters focused on transforming French classical piano repertoire into improvisatory form for jazz performance.
In 2005, Kevin was the musical director of Fr Ted Kennedy’s funeral. Fr Ted was Redfern’s mentor with ‘Mum’ Shirley Smith, of 1000s of urban Aboriginal people since the 1960s.
Since 2005 Kevin has lectured in the Jazz Studies faculty at the Sydney Conservatorium, specializing in Jazz History and improvisation.
In 2007, Kevin directed the AMEB Piano Teachers Festival at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Kevin began PhD research on the jazz capabilities of the Australian made Stuart & Sons piano. This research has recently produced new music for the Stuart Piano based on ancient Aboriginal chants of the Sydney region.
In 2010, Kevin created a new jazz trio with Dave Goodman drums, and Karl Dunnicliff bass. This trio has recorded and performed extensively for Kevin’s research in comparing the Stuart & Sons piano sound with other pianos.
Since 2010 Kevin has developed the program ‘OUR MUSIC, performing place, listening to Sydney’at the Sydney Conservatoriu of Music, to collaborate musically with local and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians.In 2012,the Menindee Central school Aboriginal art students painted a Stuart piano for Kevin to play at the OUR MUSIC events. To date, there have now been three OUR MUSIC workshop-festivals hosted at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music
In 2015, Kevin completed his PhD ‘Perceptions of the Stuart & Sons Piano Sound: realising a creative, active vision.’
ph 0418 289652