Kevin Eubanks Biography

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15 November 1957, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Eubanks comes from a very musical family: brother Robin Eubanks is a fine trombone player, Ray Bryant is his uncle and his mother, Vera, is a Doctor of Music. Kevin studied guitar at Berklee College Of Music and with Ted Dunbar. Throughout his teens he modelled his style largely on the fiery playing of John McLaughlin, but from the age of 22 he was more influenced by the gentler approach of Wes Montgomery. The Montgomery pedigree is evident in his work, but he also admires Segovia, George Benson and Oscar Peterson. From 1980-81 he was with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He has also worked with Roy Haynes, Slide Hampton, Sam Rivers, Gary Thomas (While The Gate Is Open) and Mike Gibbs (Big Music). He has made a reputation and a living from smooth, well-produced contemporary fusion, but is quite capable of more challenging playing, as shown by his work on Dave Holland’s highly acclaimed 1990 Extensions. Eubanks found his perfect niche as part of the GRP Records stable of artists, although he left the label in 1991 and signed with the illustrious Blue Note Records. Since 1995 Eubanks has been band leader for Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.