Ever since picking up his first pair of drumsticks at age ten, Drummer/Percussionist Kevin Winard has been fascinated with music—all types of music. Being raised in a musical family, he was introduced to all the greats, from Count Basie to James Brown. Growing up in Santa Barbara, CA he studied drums with Tony Cappiello who was then a student of the legendary teacher Freddie Gruber. At the age of 17 Kevin recorded his first album with the Matt Catingub Big Band featuring the legendary jazz singer Mavis Rivers. Over the next seven years he went on to record another five albums with this highly acclaimed Los Angeles based big band. When he was just twenty years old he began touring the country backing up one of the most successful pop duos in musical history—The Captain & Tennille. He toured and recorded with them for over ten years. In the summer of 1988, Kevin traveled the United States with the pop group Times Two opening for Debbie Gibson on her Out Of The Blue tour. In 1991 Kevin was requested by French rock star David Hallyday for his European tour and live album. That same year he traveled the world playing with pop icon Paul Anka.
Still striving to broaden his musical horizons, Kevin soon found himself working with two of the greatest vocalist of our time: Vic Damone and Jack Jones. “Working with these great singers and performers taught me so much about music”, he says, “to play for the song, to let the lyrics come through, these were some of the greatest lessons I could learn”. In 1996 he began touring extensively with Sergio Mendes performing in the US, Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Canada and Europe.
From 1999-2005 he toured with world famous trumpet player Doc Severinsen (The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson) performing with symphony orchestras across the Country. "I had never worked with such an artist who was so dedicated to his craft. The consummate showman and performer, Doc always inspired me to play my best".
His drumming and percussion talents also led him to perform with artists such as, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra Jr., Rosemary Clooney, John Rowles, Delaney Bramlett, Roger Williams, Carol Burnett, Hal Linden, Ray Anthony, Les Brown, Billy Barty, Patty Andrews of The Andrew Sisters, Mavis Rivers, Jim Nabors, Téka, Joyce Partise, Dolores Scozzesi, Lauren White, Mark Winkler, Marylyn Horne, Marilyn Maye, Christine Ebersole, Gloria Loring, Debby Boone, studio legend Tom Scott and the legendary Diane Schuur.
Since 2005 he has been the drummer for singer/producer Steve Tyrell. During the past eleven years Steve and the band have been to Japan, Europe, Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea and the US extensively. With Steve he has performed on the Today Show numerous times, The CBS Early Show, The Tonight Show, Michael Parkinson's show in London and Katarina Witt's Stars On Ice show in Germany. His tours have also taken Kevin to perform at many European Jazz Festivals: Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Istanbul Jazz Festival (Turkey), Vitoria Jazz Festival (Spain), San Javier Jazz Festival (Spain), Nairn Jazz Festival (Scotland), Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London and also to Buckingham Palace where they performed for The Prince Of Wales. Steve also has a residency at the world famous Cafe Carlyle in NYC where Kevin has performed with him for the past eleven years in a row. Kevin can be heard on several recordings of Steve’s: Live At The Cafe Carlyle, I’ll Take Romance, It's Magic-The Music Of Sammy Cahn, the live concert DVD Steve Tyrell-Coming Home and his latest CD That Lovin' Feeling. He is also involved in numerous projects which Steve has produced for different artists including Country Music star Neal McCoy’s You Don't Know Me and famed Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth's highly successful The Art Of Elegance.
Other recent recording projects include Tom Wopat’s I’ve Got Your Number, Carol Fredette’s No Sad Songs For Me, Jeff Elliott’s Facing West, Lauren White’s Meant To Be, Joyce Partise’s My Brazilian Heart, Jose Marino’s My Little Town and Mark Winkler’s The Company I Keep among others. As a producer he has been involved in projects such as Camilla’s Swing ‘n’ Sassy, Mellonie Irvine’s debut release You’ve Changed, Margie Nelson’s Hungry Girl and co-producer of Brazilian Singer/Guitarist Teka’s newest project entitled So Many Stars.
In 2012 Kevin released his first solo album singing songs from the Great American Songbook. The CD is aptly named “Kevin Winard Sings” and is a collection of soulful ballads and swinging standards. He is also the drums and percussion instructor at Santa Barbara City College. Recently he and fellow Steve Tyrell band mate Lyman Medeiros have created a podcast, which is on iTunes entitled “All Over The Map”. As the title suggests, they share hilarious stories from the road ranging from travel woes to foodie spots. Basically anything goes and it’s a fun look at living life “All Over The Map”! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/all-over-the-map/id996286878?mt=2.
Kevin proudly endorses DW, Innovative Percussion, LP, and Zildjian Cymbals.