Kevin was born to music and performing arts, as a duck is born to water; the date was April 8, 1954, in NYC. His parents, the late Rufus and Beverly (Hunziker) Norris, were both accomplished professional singers, stage performers, and music educators. The fledgling family (after a time living in Mars Hill, NC) settled on Long Island, where the group of accomplished and aspiring artists and educators grew by another son and 2 daughters.
Kevin’s musical journey started when he was inspired (by Stan Getz’s early 60’s bossa nova recordings) to pick up the saxophone. A few years later, the Beatles came to the US, and Kevin found the wonder and mystery of Paul McCartney’s groundbreaking bass work irresistibly intriguing-he started playing the bass lines on his father’s 6-string Martin acoustic (using only the E string at first).
With the assistance & guidance of his folks and some other great teachers, Kevin spent his secondary school years through HS graduation performing in as many diverse musical ensembles as he could find (and that would allow him to be a part of); playing both instruments, singing
(a little), doing some arranging and writing-classical & jazz ensembles, rock, R&B/funk-he was even acknowledged as “Best Musician” (w/Bonnie Fells) by Westbury HS’s Class of 1972. “I spent more time playing than I did studying, which my parents weren’t real thrilled about,” Kevin remembers.
The 70’s found Kevin concentrating primarily on playing saxophone, doing some sessions in & around NYC, and working various 9-5 gigs to pay the bills. It became clear towards the end of that decade, however, that the siren call of music was becoming increasingly strong and irresistible-so he put down his wrenches, got himself a new bass rig, and went out on the road for a while. This road trip included a cross-country tour with a Top-40 band with youngest sister Linda as lead singer.
“A 61 Ford van, 65 Chevy Malibu, and 69 Pontiac LeMans-it was quite an experience.”Shortly after his mom passed on in 1983, Kevin decided to settle in the Lehigh Valley area of PA and became a founding member of the legendary regional show/dance band “KIK”. With sister Sharon out front, KIK spent about 9 years playing the Pocono Mt. resorts, the Jersey Shore, Philly, and everywhere in between. It was this full-time experience (6 nights a week, 50 weeks a year at times) that brought forth Kevin’s powerful singing ability. “We had to cover so much material so well, and be able to switch styles at a moment’s notice-I didn’t have a choice but to sing-then I found I really dug it! It was a major rush for me to be able to cover Michael McDonald’s “Sweet Freedom”, then do a standard like “Teach Me Tonight”-and then throw in a polka.”
Kevin left KIK in 1991 and spent the next couple of years in various show, dance, and jazz bands (notably the country/jazz duo “Hot Property” w/Tom Kozic). In 1992, Kevin decided again to give the business of music a break and moved to SW Florida to tend bar and chill. The break was short lived-it was less than a week after his arrival that he played his first sub gig.Kevin lived in Naples FLfor 3 years, tending bars and playing everything from gin mill blues and R&R to high society jazz gigs, with personalities like Steve Anthony, David Pringle, and Peter Marsh.
In 1995, Kevin decided to move back North-not to PA, but to MA. “As long as there were 4 distinct seasons, it didn’t matter too much where I wound up. I had had quite enough of the tropics.” Kevin quickly established himself as a reliable and competent sideman & frontline performer
with various dance, variety, jazz, and country bands from NH to RI, including a tribute show band backing up celebrity impersonators around the US and internationally.
Kevin continues to expand the range & scope of tools in his creative toolbox, most notably diving into the Voice Over Talent pool. “I really enjoy the process of creating a quality product using the talents I was born with, whether in a studio or using my home recording setup.” “I am often asked why I smile as much as I do. The answer, I guess, is that I choose to express the joy I’m feeling while exercising my passions, whether in studio or on stage. I try to express that joy and gratitude throughout my life; and if it helps to brighten or enlighten another life, then
I am fulfilled.”
…and the journey continues…