composition / recording / jazz saxophone
About Kevin Pike
Kevin Pike Composer/saxophonist Kevin Pike has released over 15 experimental concept albums that draw on a wide range of genres, including free improvisation (Out of the Plains, 2016), Brazilian corner club music (so se kwa, 2010), jazz/funk (FUNK 204, 2018), and contemporary classical third stream (The Sound of Things, 2015). Kevin performs with several jazz groups, including his long-time association with drummer John Kotchian in the Pike/Kotchian Duo. Kevin has a music degree from DePaul University, where he studied performance and composition.

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interview with Kevin Pike

Q: What is your process for recording albums where you play all the parts?
A: It's a tedious process, but I record each part phrase by phrase, then edit it together digitally. The key is to make it sound like a live performance and not just a looped sample. I've been doing this since the first affordable digital 8-track hit the market in 1996. This is why it takes me a couple years to complete an album. My recordings now have up to 24 tracks, so a 5 minute song can represent months of recording.

Q: You have jazz recordings, a classical saxophone album, an indie rock record and even a world music release that has you singing in a fake language. Why explore so many different styles?
A: I love the concept album and the challenge it brings from a compositional and recording standpoint. And once I've done one thing, I want to try something new. It's all music to me, and I have many ideas I want to explore. The fun for me is the creation and development of these ideas, and seeing what the end result is.

Q: Talk about saxophone, and groups you play with in your hometown of Omaha.
A: Sax is my axe, as the saying goes. I've been playing jazz since I was a kid, and have a jazz studies degree from DePaul University in Chicago where I studied with Mark Colby. In Omaha, I play with drummer/bassist John Kotchian in our free jazz duo which we've been doing for over 10 years now. I also have a saxophone and bass duo, and we play jazz standards for corporate events and weddings. You'll often find me sitting in with other groups in town too.