The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Senior Releases New Jazz Album

Senior Kevin Coelho released his first jazz album this July. The album consisted of two original songs and eight cover song arrangements. Since the release of the CD, Kevin has received multiple positive reviews.

First track of Kevin’s debut CD “Funkengruven”

“There’s been lots of good reviews, and it’s been really great to see all the people go crazy,” Kevin said.

The recording process started for Kevin in December of last year. He spent 3 consecutive days in the studio recording for about 10 hours a day.

Story continues below advertisement

“It was a lot of practicing,” Kevin said. “[The recording process] was really intense, when you’re in that environment, the pressure’s really on. Basically, you end up playing the same song about twenty times and it gets old after a while and you have to take a lot of breaks and do a lot of breathers.”

While it was more difficult to record at first because he and his band members had not rehearsed yet, Kevin said that the first days of the recording process were also the most energetic.

“You may get some of your best takes or some of your worst takes on the first day, and then everything after that…just kind of wears you down a little bit,” Kevin said. “The more you play the same song over and over again, the more you get tired of it, the more you get tired of playing the same things over and over again. By the end of it you’re just kind of like, you really just wanna get out of the studio.”

The album also features Reggie Jackson on drums, as well as Derek Dicenzo on guitar. Although Kevin had worked with them before, recording the album was a new experience and the band was able to really connect and create music together.

“They are absolutely amazing musicians and they’re really good at accompaniment,” Kevin said. “It’s really like a humble art because when you’re in a band, it’s totally 100 percent not about you; it’s really about making everyone else sound better and they’re really good at that. The one thing I felt like when I was with them, is they make me sound really good, and I just hope that I make them sound just as good. They’re just really incredible and they pick up everything I do like that and I just tried to raise myself to that same level of musicianship.”

Kevin’s passion for music began when he was four years old. He was inspired by his grandmother who is a professional musician. His grandmother was a violinist until her mid-thirties, when she switched over to playing the viola. She then became the principal violist for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

“She has been a working musician since she was 15, and she’s now 83, I think,” Kevin said. “She’s been in the music business a long time and it’s just her devotion to the art turned me on at an early age. She had me playing violin and piano since age 4. If she can do, I can do it, right?”

Kevin started playing classical piano at age four, then switching to jazz piano at age 12. He has also played the jazz organ for four or five years as well as drums and the malaika, an instrument one blows into with different keys on it. Kevin even played the saxophone in eighth grade.

Now that Kevin is a professional musician, balancing school and music practice is a challenge.

“It’s tough,” Kevin said. “I have to find time for everything. For example, this last week, I didn’t practice at all, just because of school and Calc BC is really difficult. I just do things week to week, day to day, and just figure stuff out.”

Kevin’s hopes for his new album is that it will put his name out into the music business. He hopes that people will know who Kevin Coelho is when they hear it. He is also possibly releasing a second, follow-up album in February next year, now that the band has been working together for almost a year.

“The band’s tighter, I know the guys better, and we’ve been playing together for longer,” Kevin said. “And we’re all improving. They practice hard and I practice hard.”

Kevin’s album is being reviewed and talked about. People have begun to recognize him as an accomplished jazz organist.

“It feels fantastic, I can walk into a jazz club and I’ll get one or two people that know me,” Kevin said. “So, it’s pretty nice,” Kevin said.

After the release of the album, Kevin has even been getting strangers complimenting him.

“Just random people say stuff to me now,” Kevin said. “I’ll get random emails being like ‘thanks for your music’ and ‘we really enjoyed your concert’. It’s nice to get appreciated after 12 years of devotion.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Talon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *