Bev Keys Bio
Media: Download Bev Keys' press photo, a 300 dpi version of the header photo above (2,000 x 2,417 px).
Born and raised in Yonkers, N.Y., and currently based in Cornwall, Bev Keys sings powerful full-range vocals inspired by Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Betty Carter, Bonnie Raitt, Flora Purim, Joni Mitchell, and Annie Ross to name a few. Her style is eclectic, and she presents a broad combination of material ranging from jazz, swing, blues, R&B, Funk, Latin, Bluegrass, country, folk, new jazz, fusion, contemporary, popular and original.
Bev works with many different musicians in live performances and in the studio. The musicians include Susan Alcorn on steel guitar, Neil Alexander on keyboards, Matthew Finck on guitar, Scott Hesse on guitar, Robert Kopeck on upright bass, Laura Maione on upright bass, Bill Pernice piano, Peter Tomlinson, piano .Steve Raleigh on guitar and bass, Steve Sacco on drums, Dave Savitsky on sax and Marvin Bugalu Smith on drums. Hear and download some of their musical collaborations with Bev. See photos of these musicians and learn more about them by linking to their websites on Bev's photo page.
Bev is also a composer and instructor for the Vocal and Accompaniment Workshop in the Newburgh and Plattsburgh (New York) public schools, a program that she originated. In Plattsburgh, she has also worked as the event coordinator for the Mayor's office and WCFE public radio as well as the Plattsburgh Council on the Arts school program Imagination Celebration as a member of the Earth Song Minstrel Show, a program that gives students the opportunity to explore the environment through music, art, theater and movement.
Coming from a musical family, she began playing the guitar and singing at the age of nine. At 14 she formed a band with her brothers and went out on the road with their father playing various clubs in Yonkers and Rockland County, NY. Also during this time, Bev sang at some of Manhattan's popular night spots such as the Peppermint Lounge, Latin Quarter, Copa Cabana and the Riviera Lounge where she gained valuable experience singing jazz standards, blues and R&B music—opening for acts such as Joey Dee and the Starlighters, the Shirelles, the Ronettes, Jerry Vale, and the Young Rascals.
In the 1980s she moved to Houston, Tex., where she was busy singing big band music with pianist Jack Truett, country music at Gilley’s nightclub, and jazz fusion with pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn. At the same time she was composing and performing new and original material.
While continuing to perform the timeless standard and popular material of different eras in a way that brings the music to life, Bev has also blended the various and disparate genres of music that she has studied and performed over the years. Thus she has developed an unmistakably unique sound and style of her own. "Music,” she says, “is the universal language that brings people together."
Bev has performed in:
• Montreal, Canada
• And throughout the United States
For the past seven years she has performed at The Mojo Grill in Wappingers Falls, New York. Other venues where she has performed recently include Farm to Table Bistro in Fishkill, Coquito in Warwick and the Bull and Buddha in Poughkeepsie.