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 fusion (microjazz, 1999), and contemporary classical (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.

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.