In 2003 Kevin Washington’s stellar drum skills were featured in Modern Drummer Magazine, however his dedication to drumming began as soon as he could hold the sticks. With teachers of excellent caliber who include Max Roach and Roy Brooks it was almost impossible for him to go wrong. Born in 1975 in Detroit, Michigan to musicians and scholars Donald and Faye Washington, his musical career began at the early age of five playing at local jazz festivals from 1981 to 1985. Kevin moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota when he was thirteen where his music career continued to flourish.
In 1996 Washington moved to New York City to study jazz at the New School for Social Research. He performed at many NY venues with different musical groups such as The Chico Freeman Quartet, Arnie Lawrence, Antonio Hart and James Carter. During his stay in New York he was also a Rhythm Instructor at the Harlem School of the Arts.
Most recently, the Kevin Washington Quartet has been featured at premier Minneapolis venues such as the Dakota Jazz Club and the Artists Quarter. With a mix of Washington’s compositions and his refreshing take on his favorite standards the band has garnered rave reviews and has added new members to his fan base. In 2008 he played a local gig with Tim Reis of the Rolling Stones and now travels frequently to play with him in other cities. With Tim’s permission the Kevin Washington Quartet showcases a version of the Rolling Stones song “Lady Jane” which Reis arranged and recorded for use on his own solo project. Washington has also accompanied various visiting musicians such as Brian Lynch, Steve Slagle and Dave Stryker, David ‘Fat Head’ Newman, Rodney Jones and James Carter. On the home front he can be found playing with great musicians such as Cuban pianist Nachito Herrera, the incomparable members of NOWnet and vocalist Bruce Henry. Kevin is also the lead drummer with Moveable Feast; who released their second CD in 2002 and is currently the musical director and lead drummer with songstress ANIKA.
Washington is a world traveled musician who in April of 2006 accompanied Afro-Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado to Lima, Peru for a ten-day tour. In July of 2003 Kevin, as a member the Doug Little Quartet, embarked upon a month long European tour that covered locations including Germany, France, and Italy. In addition to being a superb jazz drummer Kevin is also well versed in Latin, funk, reggae, Makkosa and Soukus rhythms. Washington recently completed a three month run in the Broadway musical, “Caroline, or Change” by Grammy and Tony award winner Tony Kushner at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. To this day Washington proves to be one of the most versatile drummers in the country.
In October of 2009 Kevin was awarded the Minnesota Emerging Composer Award for jazz and improvisation from the American Composers Forum. This grant will come in handy as he is working on his solo CD project. Currently, Kevin is an instructor at McNally School of Music, provides private instruction at Walker West Academy and adds to the Minneapolis arts scene by being the curator of a weekly open mic which has won awards for Best Open Mic from various organizations for multiple years. In his spare time Kevin devotes himself to composing music, giving private lessons and honing his craft.