Kevin Dorn has been one of the busiest drummers in traditional jazz for many years and his deep dedication to the music has never waned for an instant, ever since as a teenager he first heard a recording of Gene Krupa. Kevin is influenced by classic swinging drummers like Cliff Leeman, George Wettling, Morey Feld, Buzzy Drootin, Dave Tough and Sam Woodyard; drummers who played for the benefit of the band and who were masters of playing good solid time. Kevin's goal is to provide swinging and inspirational accompaniment for his fellow musicians.
To learn about this music, Kevin went to the source and did what those before him had done: he apprenticed under older master musicians. Kevin sought out players like Jake Hanna, Tony Denicola and Chuck Riggs, and learned everything he could from them. Kevin cherishes the time he spent with these gentlemen and their influence on him was tremendous. They taught him not only the intricacies of jazz drumming, but also to develop his own sound and they are the reason for his highly individual and authentic approach to the music. Although he has a deep knowledge of jazz drumming history and is known for playing in an older style, Kevin's playing is completely in the moment and he has tried to develop his own voice within the idiom.
Kevin's commitment and intensity, as well as his unique approach, have brought him steady work with such stellar musicians as Ken Peplowski, Rossano Sportiello, Ed Polcer, Allan Vache, Bob Wilber, Dan Barrett, Johnny Varro, Dick Hyman, Randy Reinhart, Warren Vache, Dan Levinson, Molly Ryan, Banu Gibson, Mark Shane, Evan Arntzen, John Gill, Randy Sandke, Jon-Erik Kellso, Bria Skonberg, Dennis Lichtman, Vince Giordano, Jeff Barnhart, Peter and Will Anderson, Ehud Asherie, Adrian Cunningham, Eddy Davis, Gordon Au, Mara Kaye and Tom Artin. For two years, Kevin was the drummer for The Jim Cullum Jazz Band, appearing on their weekly public radio show, Riverwalk: Live From The Landing. These days, Kevin performs regularly with many bands, including The Yerba Buena Stompers, The Dimestore Romeos, The Brain Cloud, The Grand St. Stompers, The Baby Soda Jazz Band and Papa Vega's Dream Shadows. Kevin is also the drummer for Woody Allen's New Orleans Band, performing every Monday night at the Cafe Carlyle in New York City.
Kevin has played at numerous jazz festivals and jazz parties, including the JVC Jazz Festival, Jazz at Chautauqua, the Atlanta Jazz Party, the North Carolina Jazz Festival, the Colorado Springs Jazz Party, JazzFest At Sea, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, the Los Angeles Sweet and Hot Festival, the San Diego Jazz Festival, the Arizona Classic Jazz Festival, the Orange County Jazz Festival, the Nairn Jazz Festival in Scotland and the Jeju Swing Festival in South Korea. Kevin has been fortunate to have performed throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia, and at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Rainbow Room, Lincoln Center, Birdland, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Symphony Space, The 92nd Street Y, Mezzrow, Fat Cat, The Iridium, and Joe's pub.
Kevin has recorded music for movies and television, most recently for the HBO miniseries The Plot Against America starring Winona Ryder and John Turturro, in which Kevin also appears on screen.
Kevin has been featured on the cover of such traditional jazz publications as The Mississippi Rag and TheAmerican Rag and was profiled in Lew Shaw's book, Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Always willing to share his knowledge, Kevin has taught drumming at the United Nations International School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Stanford Summer Jazz Workshop, and the New York Hot Jazz Camp, as well as privately.
Kevin is an endorser of Ludwig Drums.
"Dorn's drumming has to be the most authentic sounding 1930s-style drumming I have ever heard in a live setting."
-Ricky Riccardi, Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum and author of What A Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong's Later Years.
"Drummer Kevin Dorn swings hard and his solos are exhuberant yet melodic."
-Michael Steinman, jazzlives.wordpress.com