An emerging bassist, composer and educator in the Toronto jazz scene. Founder of the Guerilla Jazz, a Jazz education initiative.
Kevin Hurley is an emerging bassist, composer and educator coming up in the Toronto jazz scene. His background in math and sciences give him a unique perspective on the patterns in music. The perspective drives the experimental nature of his compositions: “I’m fascinated with the evolutionary underpinning of music. How our brain converts harmony and rhythm into emotion”.
Kevin was born and raised in the borough of East York in Toronto. After High School, Kevin received a scholarship to study Physics and Engineering at the University of Toronto. While at University, Kevin’s music career blossomed playing in many club bands around campus. In particular, Kevin found success playing in the Jazz Quintet “The Giambrone Machine”. Named after former City Councillor and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone, who gave the band their first gig at his election victory party. Soon after beginning graduate studies of Physics in 2007, it became apparent that Kevin’s curiosity had gravitated to the patterns in Music and away from science or as he puts it “Nobody talks about the ‘starving’ scientist. If I’m going to work 60 hours a week below minimum wage, I’d rather be a starving artist”. He enrolled in the music program at Humber College where he studied with some of the best musicians in Canada including: Mike Downes, Kieran Overs, Neil Swainson, Kurt McDonald, Brian Dickerson and many others. He graduated from Humber College in May 2013.
Since Graduating, Kevin has founded two bands a electric and acoustic quartet. He has also founded "Guerilla Jazz", a musical education initiative looking to use unconventional performance spaces to generate interest in the Toronto music scene.
When I'm asked how to break into Jazz I always respond with a question: What music do you listen to now? It's best to start with music you already have a feel for and find a group that uses that music as a starting point for their creative exploration. With that idea in mind, here is a list of acts in this year's TD Toronto Jazz Fest and the popular music they use as their inspiration.