Kevin Hayden is a drummer, producer and composer, born in 1980 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. At the age of two, he was musically influenced by his father Tracey, who also played drums. Kevin comes from a long line of family drummers and was brought up in church, where he was afforded the opportunity to play for various community choirs. At 13, he was noticed at his church by a well-known choir director, Chris Ford. This led to his involvement in hundreds of local performances, a live recording with the Fort Wayne Youth Ensemble and tours in Georgia and Texas.
In 1994 Kevin continued to grow and mature on the gospel scene, and was inadvertently introduced to the music of jazz drummer Will Kennedy (Yellowjackets) which changed his entire approach to drums. A year later, he was introduced to the cassette tape Master Plan by fusion drummer Dave Weckl. Kevin was determined to gain new concepts of jazz and fusion drumming. His combination of gospel, fusion and jazz led to a distinct and unique style which captivated his listeners.
After completing the Marines in 2002, Kevin moved to his mother’s hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kevin began to draw the attention of other great musicians at various jam sessions and auditions, and has since worked with well-known Milwaukee acts. In 2007, Kevin enrolled in the music program at Milwaukee Area Technical College, where he studied music under one of Milwaukee’s premiere jazz drummers and fellow Yamaha Artist, Ben Hans.
In 2008 Kevin released a series of YouTube videos which caught the attention of Gospel Chops CEO Gerald Forrest. This connection led to a spot on the 2009 Gospel Chops' bass performance DVD Bass Sessionzs Vol. 1. He had the privilege and honor to work on the same set as drumming legend Peter Erskine and veteran pianist John Beasley.
Soon after the Gospel Chops recording, and through the mentorship and guidance of Mr. Forrest, Kevin recorded and released his debut album Delegations And Assignments, which featured keyboardist Terry Harris Jr., bassist Damian Erskine and bassist/producer Lance Tolbert. The success of the project sparked Kevin to fulfill his music career by starting his own jazz fusion band, the Kevin Hayden Band. This band featured keyboardist Theo Merriweather, bassist Dwayne Williams and saxophonist Tobias Cainion.
In 2011, Kevin released the gospel fusion performance track "Awaken". Soon after, the Kevin Hayden Trio was created. Their debut album The Winter Project, featured Evan Paydon on bass and Terry Harris Jr. on keys. Guest appearances include Isaiah Joshua on alto sax and vocalist Camille Hunt.
In early 2012, the trio acquired bassist Alan Harris and released their next album, Paris. This album featured tenor saxophonist Eric Schoor, alto saxophonist Isaiah Joshua, guitarist Darrien Williams and vocalist Camille Hunt. Also included is a very notable guest appearance by narrator Harrison D. Kern.
Kevin is a family man and enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Natalie and precious daughters Kayla and Rylee.