Calvin Keys – Pure Joy

Calvin Keys remains among the top jazz guitarists of all time. His career spans from the late 60's to today.
As a competent and sought-after side-man to confident leader; he has played everywhere and with almost everyone.
Through it all, he embodies Pure Joy.
Calvin Keys Detours

Calvin Keys – Pure Joy

This is the first pass at our blog post for Calvin Keys, an influential and respected jazz guitar master.  We are thrilled to be able to call Calvin our friend and every time we come into contact with him or his music; it always brings us joy.

This post is a placeholder. We follow a process of: 1) draft, 2) review, 3) rewrite and publish and 4) review after 3,6,9 weeks and update.  As we are rebuilding the website; the idea is to use our first 10 posts to publicly share where we are going and what we are working on.


From Calvin Keys’ website

Jazz guitarist Calvin Keys is a legend among soul-jazz fans and known for his lean, muscular single-string solo style, Keys was born in 1942 in Omaha, Nebraska. His first musical influence was his father Otis, a well-known drummer who passed the music bug on to Calvin.

In 1971, he signed with Black Jazz label, released a pair of albums and played in the Ray Charles Orchestra. Keys’ unique phrasing and his ability to balance sophisticated jazz harmonics with tough R&B and soul grooves were showcased nightly in the Charles band.

By 1975, Keys had relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he became — and remains — an avid participant in its jazz community. He worked in live settings and recording sessions with John Handy, Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Marshall, Bob Braye, Ed Kelly, Eddie Duran, Bruce Forman, Junius Simmons, and Eddie Moore.

He was sidelined in 1997 by heart surgery, undergoing a quadruple bypass. Undaunted, he released the widely acclaimed Detours into Unconscious Rhythms on Wide Hive Records and toured in the U.S. and Europe. In 2005 Keys recorded Calvinesque for Silverado. The album hit number 30 on the jazz charts. In 2006 he released Vertical Clearance followed by Hand-Made Portrait on Silverado.

He remains active on the jazz scene today with frequent appearances in San Francisco Bay area venues. He is a member and teacher of the Oakland Public Conservatory (OPC).He also mentors upcoming musicians; gives private lessons; and is a frequent teacher at Jazz Camp west.

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