WCSU

Artist Profiles - Pianist Kevin Toney

Kevin Kraig Toney is a pianist and composer, known as an original member of The Blackbyrds and now is a solo artist and performer. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where he attended Cass Technical High School, Kevin was performing with the jazz-fusion group The Blackbyrds when he received his B.A. in Composition and Jazz Studies from Howard University. "Rock Creek Park" and the Grammy nominated "Unfinished Business" were written by him.

Kevin was also a conductor and arranger for several recording and performing artists including James Ingram, Patti Austin and Isaac Hayes. He also was a conductor and arranger for productions of “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Five Guys Named Moe,” “Sophisticated Ladies” and “Harlem Suite.” He has also recorded and/or performed with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Kenny Burrell and Nancy Wilson.

His first solo recording, “Special K,” was released in 1982. His album “Lovescape,” released in 1994, yielded two major jazz radio hits in "Kings" and "Aphrodisiac.”  He collaborated with “Unwrapped” producer Tony Joseph on the compilation “Def Jazz,” a jazz interpretation of rap classics, was released in 2005 on Def Jam Records.