Kevin was a proverbial “child star” and began his career on stage before he was born – his mother was 8 months pregnant with him, performing in the Shakespearean festival show Pirates of Penzance. Kevin’s father also had a starring role along side Christopher Plummer, who held Kevin in his arms on the day of birth. Upon that auspicious occasion, Kevin began his career in the arts.
Both of Kevin’s parents earned a Masters degree. Brian at Eastman School of Music as an opera singer and Jan at Juilliard as a modern dancer. Brain went on to become a celebrity in Canada in film, stage and television, and Jan danced on Broadway and would eventually become a member of the world-renown Martha Graham Dance Company.
Kevin was profoundly affected by this artistic environment and began singing professionally at the age of 8 years, where he caught the eye of a television director, and was hired to appear in a national hotdog commercial. Kevin dove-tailed the experience into other performances, appearing in national commercials as well as several film and television shows in leading roles. At the age of 11, Kevin landed the highly prestigious singing and acting role of Christopher Robin in a world-class production of Winnie the Pooh, also starring Don Francks (Finnean’s Rainbow), Andrea Martin (SCTV), with music director, Jimmy Dale (Sonny & Cher, Smother’s Brothers). Kevin’s appearance on the front of the Canadian TV Guide helped to advertise his theatrical show. In this same year he joined the Local 149 Musician’s Union and began drumming and singing in his father’s Cabaret/Vegas-style show, where he learned the art of backing up a variety of vocalists, performing six nights a week.
Kevin had been studying since the age of 8 years with Ed Gold (drums) and Darwin Aiken (piano), who is Canada’s premier symphonic piano teacher. Before Kevin was in his teens his musical efforts helped him to become active as the first-call jingle singer of television and radio in Toronto, working with Sid Kesler, Larry Trudel and Tommy Ambrose. At the age of 13 Kevin began studying drums with Toronto jazz drummers, Stan Perry and Jack McQuade. At 16 he was accepted to study with Canada’s foremost drum teacher, Jim Blackley, who is listed as one of the top four drum teachers by Modern Drummer Magazine. At the age of 18 Kevin spent one year in Long Boat Key, Florida performing 6 nights a week in a trio that included Steve Hunter on piano. Steve is currently Colm Wilkinson accompanist. Afterwards, Kevin worked as freelance musician on the Toronto scene performing in a myriad of professional musical situations. He also played live and recorded with The Red (a group produced and recorded by Daniel Lanois), The Big Parade, The Touch and Vis-à-vis, who won a Casby Award (Canadian equivalent of the Grammy’s for best up and coming pop group).
Kevin majored in music at Pepperdine University, where he received a scholarship and eventually moved to Los Angeles permanently with his family. Kevin was blessed with a daughter, Tiffany and a son, Dylan.
In Los Angeles Kevin studied with master drum teachers Murray Spivack, Richard Wilson and Richard Martinez, as well as a lesson or two with just about every name drummer including Dave Weckl, Peter Erskine, Chad Wackerman, Virgil Donati, Jeff Hamilton, Mike Shapiro, Ralph Humphrey, Alex Acuna, Dick Weller, Johnny Guerrin, Chuck Silverman, Ron Wikso, Willie Arnelis, Jimmy Brandley, Gary Ferguson, David Garibaldi, Joel Taylor, Richie Garcia, Joe Porcaro, Mike Barsimonto, Nick Martinez, Roy Burns, Efrain Toro, Jack Verga, Greg Alban.
Kevin started his early career working with celebrity entertainers including, James Darren, Nel Carter, Jules Aiken, The Intruders.
Kevin didn’t wait for the phone to ring, and formed his own jazz ensemble, Kevin Crabb & Friends, performing at venues including the renowned, “The Baked Potato”, “Vibrato”, “Vitello’s”, “Spazio’s”, “The Rex” (Toronto, Canada) and a myriad of venues world-wide. Kevin’s ensemble has included and featured some of the finest jazz musicians in the world, including Patrice Rushen (patricerushen.com), the legendary Don Thompson (George Shearing, Boss Brass), legendary Dave Carpenter (“Carp”), John Beasley (Miles Davis), David Garfield (Karizma, musical director for George Benson), John B. Willians (“The Arsenio Hall Show”, “Tonight Show”), John Heard (Amad Jamal, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson), Jennifer Leitham (George Shearing, Mel Torme, “Tonight Show”), Otmaro Ruiz, John McLaughlin, Zane Musa, Brandon Fields, Bob Sheppard, Limon Menderos, Carlos Puerta, Edwin Livingston, Tony Dumas, Brad Rebuchin, Carlitos Depuerto, Kai Akagi (Miles Davis), Alphonso Johnson, Ric Fierrabracci (Chick Corea), David Goldblatt, Derol Caraco, Ginshi, Mahesh Balasooriya, Keith Jones, Kelly Jefferson, Carol Chaikin, Tom McMorran (Natalie Cole), Larry Stein, Mark Massey, Brian Scwartz, Clay Jenkins, Bevan Manson, Mitch Foreman, Mike Flick, Simon Menderos, Chris Conner, Jennifer Lietham (Tonight Show), Lewis Taylor, Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power), Michael Bluestein, Sid Jacobs, Dean Roubicek, Kim Richmond (“Bleeding Gums Murphy” on “The Simpsons”) and many, many more.
Kevin’s recently released CD, “Waltz for Dylan” is receiving five-star reviews in the jazz community and was on the ballot for a Grammy nomination in 2010. He also had a series of articles published, which he co-authored with Richard Martinez, discussing the Wilson and Murray Spivak technique in Modern Drummer’s “Strictly Technique.” (See articles and publications)
Kevin’s is recognized as an authority on Spivack/Wilson snare drum technique and has been the featured guest lecturer and performed Masterclass/Workshops in the US. and Canada including Musicians Institute – L.A., Los Angeles Music Academy, Humber College – Toronto, St. Michaels College – Toronto, Guitar Center, Just Drums – Toronto, El Camino High School, Hale Middle School and Taft High School among others.
Kevin’s famous Drum Hangs have been publish in Modern Drummer. This artistic and creative social gathering which Kevin originally began hosting from his home/studio, outgrew the space and has been held at famous locations such as The Baked Potato, Spazzio Jazz Club and the famous educational institution Los Angeles Music Academy (LAMA). The gatherings include a special guest speaker/drummer and world-class ensemble. The gatherings are both education and fun. Past special guests and attendees have included: Mike Clark, Ralph Humphry, Chad Wackerman, Clayton Cameron, Joe Porcaro, Freddy Gruber, Richie Garcia, Steve Ferrone, Virgil Donati, Bernie Dressel, Wally Snow, Willie Ornelas, Gary Ferguson and Mark Stevens.
Kevin maintains a busy private teaching schedule, performances and offers private instruction from his studio or on Skype.
Kevin is proud to be endorsed by: Paiste, Mapex, Vic Firth, Aquarian Drumheads and Hart Electronics.
Please see kevincrabb.com and YouTube Channel (Kevin Crabb Drums) to view videos, listen to interviews, music and more.
Modern Drummer – Strictly Technique, Part 1: Levers and Wrist Turns:
Modern Drummer – Strictly Technique, Part 2: The Seven Basic Strokes:
Modern Drummer – Strictly Technique, Part 3: Continuity & Chronological Order:
Modern Drummer – Strictly Technique, Part 4: Advanced Concepts:
Modern Drummer – Richard Wilson, Broadening The Limits: