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Lobby The Lesson topic #3045619

Subject: "RIP Kevin Toney keyboardist of The Blackbyrds" Previous topic | Next topic
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Thu Mar-21-24 07:36 PM

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"RIP Kevin Toney keyboardist of The Blackbyrds"



Truth in Rhythm interview

The Blackbyrds - Rock Creek Park

The Blackbyrds - Reggins

The Blackbyrds - mysterious vibes

Kevin Toney - Kings

Kevin Toney - so good

Jazz and Soul great Kevin Toney dies at age 70

(March 21, 2024) The news from the family of Kevin Toney this morning hit us like a ton of bricks: After a brief battle with cancer, our beloved Kevin Toney peacefully transitioned on Monday March 18th, 2024. We want to thank our village for their prayers, love, and support over the last few months. The family requests privacy during this time.

There weren’t many musicians more talented or versatile than Kevin Toney. The 70 year old Detroit native earned his chops as a child in the music-filled city, learning piano, cello and sax. After graduating high school, he further honed his musical skills at Howard University, where he studied music theory and composition.

Toney's career took flight when he joined The Blackbyrds, a legendary jazz-funk group, in the 1970s. His keyboard virtuosity and knack for crafting infectious melodies became signature elements of the band's sound. Hits like "Rock Creek Park" and "Walking in Rhythm" catapulted The Blackbyrds to international fame, solidifying Toney's reputation as a musical force to be reckoned with.

Following his success with The Blackbyrds, Toney embarked on a solo career marked by innovation and artistic exploration. He turned heads with 1982’s Special K, but became a household name in the jazz world a dozen years later with Lovescape and the contemporary jazz smash song “Kings.” After the turn of the century, Toney’s album Strut became part of the chosen original music of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In between his numerous solo projects and albums leading his own bands, Toney worked with a “who’s who” of popular artists, including Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Isaac Hayes and Aretha Franklin.

Kevin contacted me a decade ago with immense pride, hoping SoulTracks would cover the debut album by his daughter, the talented singer and actress Dominique Toney. The Kevin Toney-produced “Loving You’s So Easy” was a great introduction of Dominique, and became a hit with SoulTracks readers.

The loss of Kevin Toney is a big one to the musical world, and we’ll be mourning it with three generations of jazz and soul fans. Rest in peace, Kevin.

By Chris Rizik


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