Kevin Shea is valued as being a vital and original artist in the contemporary music scene. Shea’s originality is manifested not only by his personal approach to his instrument, but also throughout his constant search for new musical horizons unifying all the bands he has been involved in despite the parameters set for musicians by genre definition, or by historical icons.
The plurality of rigorous artistic aspirations and creative engagement that distinguish the discography of Kevin Shea are not the product of chance or merely taking advantage of opportunities — but the result of labor, strong convictions, and a strong conceptual support — a deliberate search for transitional territories away from the dogmas of boring and unnecessary conventions.
Shea’s artistic interests are rooted in reevaluating what a band/music, musician/performer, artist and audience can and should. Splitting the difference between passion and song, Shea plays multi-dimensional utopian sound in which opposing musical forces integrate to form a new sustainable recipe for sound and social implication. Remaining devoted to his belief that the application of sonic diversity is paramount to the appreciation of human diversity, Shea’s ultimate goal has been to wed disparate ideologies through proficiency, controversy, inquiry, and compassion — an approach perpetuating audiences, listeners, and sometimes fellow band members, to face, question, define, and attempt to defend their own level of tolerance and compassion head-on, no–holds–barred.
As a youth, Shea moved throughout the States many times, transforming any of his formal expectations into a joyous foundation of constant flux. He learned that intuition and customs had to be constantly re-evaluated and negotiated rather than held as sacred. This process of questioning is central to Shea’s music. To him, sound is a result of a broader process rather than formulas tied to notions of predictable emotional response. Shea sees sound and music, not as a prize, but a simple aspect of banal daily life.
Kevin Shea has over 25 years of experience as a professional drummer, composer and performer. He has recorded on over 120 albums in a mish-mash of contexts and has performed in over 40 countries. His training started in public elementary school and continued steadily through his college years at Berklee College of Music.
Additional recording/performing with legendary Fluxus artist Yasunao Tone, Cooper-Moore, Tatsuya Yoshida, Jim Black, Yoshimi, Susie Ibarra, Ron Stabinsky, Storm & Stress, Brian Chippendale, Thomas Heberer, Micah Gaugh, Michael Moore, Brandon Seabrook, Mick Barr, Peter Evans, Moppa Elliott, Zach Hill, Lukas Ligeti, William Hooker, Charles Evans, Nate Wooley, Jean-Marc Montera, Vernon Reid, Jim O’Rourke, Colin Stetson, Tim Dahl, Dave Taylor, Wolter Wierbos, Fritz Welch, Steve Albini, Dan Peck, Steven Bernstein, Briggan Krauss, Tomas Fujiwara, Max Johnson, Marc Ribot, Chris Pitsiokos, Jon Irabagon, Jim Sauter, DJ Olive, Brian Chase, Mike Pride, Sarah Lipstate, Bern Nix, Adam Lane, Frank Gratkowski, Hans Tammen, Kyp Malone, James Cammack, Weasel Walter, Jason Ajemian, Tom Blancarte, Curtis Hasselbring, Danton Boller, Asmus Tietchens, Michael Evans, Yoni Kretzmer, Jaime Fennely, Josh Roseman, Matt Nelson, Steve Gunn, Nebadon Contemporary Music Ensemble, Peeesseye, J.D. Parran, Nick Millevoi, Philip White, Hey!Tonal, Daniel Carter, Sam Kulik, Daniel Blake, Tyondai Braxton, ad nauseum. In recent years, Shea has also performed as part of renowned choreographer Karole Armitage’s Armitage Gone! Dance company.
Kevin Shea has performed at some of the most highly acclaimed festivals — including The Newport Jazz Festival, Sharjah Art Biennial, Taipei Arts Festival, ATP Festival, The North Sea Jazz Festival, The Vancouver Jazz Festival, Moers Festival near Dusseldorf, Berlin Jazz Fest, Portalegre Jazzfest, Sant’Anna Arresi Jazz Festival, Egersund Visefestival in Norway, Jazz em Augusto Festival in Lisbon, Jazzatlier Kaleidephon Festival in Austria, Bergen Jazz Festival, Dance Ukmbrella, Bordeaux Jazz Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival, Suoni Festival in Montreal, Tampere Jazz Festival, Meteo Jazz Festival, Kraak Festival in Belgium, Whartscape Fest in Baltimore, ZXZW Festival in Tilburg, Lollapalooza, Enjoy Jazz Festival in Mannheim, Azorean Islands Jazz Festivals, Ottawa Jazz Festival.