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Keith Killgo Jazz Pioneer Performs at SXSW 2007, Saturday, March 17 at the Elephant Room


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Venue: The Elephant Room
Time: 10:30pm
Date: SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2007

“This is to confirm my high and enthusiastic regard for the drumming exploits of Mr. Keith Killgo, who is one of the most exciting, intelligent and dynamic swing-miesters in our profession. Any venue or concert in which he plays will be better for it." --Larry Coryell

Austin, TX - Ralph Ellison said, “Jazz is an art of individual assertion within and against the group..." and Keith Killgo, drummer, vocalist, teacher, and one of the founding members of the jazz-fusion group, the Blackbyrds fits that description. Writing the foreward to Keith Killgo's upcoming book, Gary Duncan, of Quicksilver Messenger Service says, “Keith Killgo has the rare qualities of a Master Musician: he listens, he learns arrangements and then throws them out the window and plays the “song" according to the mood of the evening fearlessly, and he is aware of the importance of the spaces more than the notes, above all his presence alone forces the musicians to rise to the occasion, and he makes everyone sound better..."

Inspired by his father, Harry Killgo, pianist for the JFK Quintet, Keith began studying piano at the age of 4, and went on to train with Roberta Flack. However, he had an affinity for playing drums, and by the time he turned 11 he had played with Sonny Stitt, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Bill Hardman, Art Blakey's Band and Eddie Harris. At 17 he entered Bradley University in Illinois to became a member of the Joe Henderson Quintet, along with Stanley Clarke, Hal Galper and Woody Shaw.

At 18 Keith went on to Howard University, where he met Donald Byrd, and became a member of The Blackbyrds with Orville Saunders and Joe Hall. He performed with the Blackbyrds for ten years, playing with George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Bobbi Humphrey, Sonny Rollins and Andrew White. The Blackbyrds received an array of awards, three gold albums and a grammy nomination for “Walking in Rhythm." Killgo wrote several hit singles for The Blackbyrds including, “Flying High," and “Time is Moving." After the affiliation with Donald Byrd ended in 1977, Killgo and the Blackbyrds collaborated with George Duke on Better Days.

He later went on to form Krosswinds, a seven person band, as well as recording a solo LP. Keith has performed and/or recorded with his own band and artists such as Stevie Wonder, Joe Williams, Jimmy Witherspoon, David “Fathead" Newman, Wynton Marsalis and others. Keith has toured with Larry Coryell in the U.S. and in Europe, and Larry is a featured performer on Keith's 2006 CD release, This World. Keith has also performed with the band Quicksilver Messenger Service, displaying his versatility in Rock as well as straight ahead Jazz and Blues formats, in addition to his signature funky jazz fusion skills.

Residing in Washington, D.C., Keith has spent over 30 years performing with his own band, with other artists, lecturing and teaching. Keith created “StarJamz," new music television specials for TV One. It gives the audience a voyueristic backstage pass to the many one-of-a-kind nights that occurr after a live show. As Killgo states, “Performers may stop in and check out one another in jazz clubs, and sometimes after closing they continue to talk and jam and create musical experiences most fans never have the opportunity to see."

He has released two solo CD projects, Mood for Love and This World on his Krosslink label. This World received airplay on NPR, College Radio, Internet and International Radio stations such as: WPFW FM - Washington, D.C., Fritz FM - Berlin, Germany, WCVF FM - New York, New York and more. Keith has performed in venues all over the world including the Apollo Theater, Berlin Jazz Festival, New Haven Jazz Fest, The Village Gate and more.

Keith is excited to bring his unique style of funky jazz fusion to the premier international music festival, SXSW in 2007. Keith Killgo Jazz will perform on Friday, March 9th and Saturday, March 10th at Twins Jazz Club at 1344 U Street, NW, Washington DC with sets at 9 and 11pm each evening as a preview to his SXSW performance.

Keith will be releasing a new CD in early 2007.

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