Bio

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My present:

I am here to build community! That’s more important to me than all the words describing my fleeting past. If you are a talented musician and like my music, let’s play!

I attempt and explore sustainable living and music at Grace Note Farm near Worcester. Music has always been my friend.  One of my quests is to build a local network of musicians in Petersham, MA and around the Quabbin. I am also looking to build relationships with musician songwriters around the world who wish to collaborate. Interested? Give me a ring.

My past:

I grew up in Goffstown, NH. It was quite a blessing, but I didn’t know it at the time, it took hearing other people’s stories before I learned how great Goffstown was.  At age seventeen after high school graduation I moved to Dallas, TX to study electrical engineering, philosophy and music. I met my wife my first day of college in Arlington TX. Learning is a life-long process I actively pursue as a way of life.

“Kent was an amazing drummer even when I first played with him in high school jazz band. In the intervening years he has really perfected his technique. He is a joy to play with….sickly complex beats abound but always with a killer groove that offers a fertile ground for melody and harmony. He’s a great listener and knows when to thrash and when to be subtle. Musicians are of course all egotists but Kent is always willing and able to collaborate with other musical egos to create something unique and beautiful.” -Peter Buchanon, Guitarist and Songwriter, Shelburne Falls, MA

The rest of my story was a music career where I played with fantastic musicians that kept calling me back for the gig, for which I am grateful. If you have something cool to give to the world, I want to meet you.

“Forty-plus years of performing has taught me to cherish true professionals in the entertainment business, especially in the music field.
Being part of the music team in a live show demands not the highest levels of musicianship from each player but much more.
In live shows, there are no second chances. This is the tight wire; the heart beat which a great drummer can not only enhance, but truly make or break. A great drummer makes things come alive.

I have worked with Kent many times for demanding professionals and he’s the real deal.
Kent’s abilities to read the ink, grasp the concept, internalize it all, then put it into instant action in front of an audience, is exactly what it takes to get the job done right.
He also has a great heart and sense of humor which partner wonderfully with his obvious love for percussion. Kent Byron is a lot more than “a drummer.”
If you have the opportunity to team up with Kent, you’ll be delighted.
I am also proud (after over thirty years) to call Kent my friend.”

Greg Davidson
Comic/Illusionist
President of Believe Ministries Inc. – Atlanta, GA

I traveled all over the world, a gift drumming gave me. I played many styles of music: jazz, rock, country, latin, reggae, Persian music, show tunes, fusion, alternative, electronica, funk, jams, anything but metal and hard rock. I recorded and had fun. I recorded Jingles in Dallas, TX. Every city I moved to got me connected to some of the best gigs in town. Again, I am grateful for that.

“I met Kent Byron sometime in the mid nineties when I subbed for
another guitar player in a local R&B band. I was impressed by his ability on the drums
& his sincerity as a person. We eventually became good friends & he very graciously & capably
played on 13 tracks on my first cd released in 2000. He is a
gifted musician, but more importantly, very dedicated to achieving the results his
super ability to focus, can achieve.
Not many musicians have dedicated themselves to the level of
intense work required to produce at the level of perfection that is his normal
standard. I’m aware too that he spent time in at North Texas State University which speaks
volumes as to the atmosphere he grew up musically in. Kento always was kind,
thoughtful , generous & surprised me many times with thoughtful gifts.
When someone cares enough to know you & your interests ,then finds something
appropriate & perfect for you, it isn’t ever forgotten! (often from far off lands like
Japan & the middle east.)

I still pick up the books & cd’s regularly as they are helpful
toward my progress. as a musician & human.
I’m especially thankful for all his playing on my new cd “Soup
of Love”. You can check him out there on Amazon.com, CDBaby or iTunes. I really miss him since
he has moved several times since we last got together. His commitment to healthy lifestyle
has cost him the convenience that the big city provides for a
musician’s survival. Its a shame though that his immense talent &
warm spirit are not more highly recognized. He unquestionably
deserves it. He could play alongside ANYONE.”
-Sunny Paul, Guitarist, Bassist, Songwriter, Singer, Producer, Teacher, Studio Guru in Rochester, NY

Despite my relative success, I had large goals and the harsh reality was I fell short of my goals in music. I didn’t make all the correct decisions but only hindsight years later revealed it. At the time, I was blind. I did get pretty far, because the experiences I had were quite memorable and I fondly recollect memories of those times with great joy. I wouldn’t trade my path in music for anything, it’s just I didn’t get as far as I wanted. I literally wanted to fill in for Steve Gadd or Omar Hakim except somehow I wasn’t willing to really make a move and go to the Big Place such as New York. Dallas was big enough. LA and New York sounded maddening to me. Now my life is so rewarding being in and around Nature and mixing it with music. In life I’ve rounded it out a bit. I still pursue music and that’s what this site is really about.

“Beyond his remarkable chops and technical proficiency on the drums, it’s rare to find professional drummers that listen and play as dynamically as Kent does.  His ability to perform what is required for the song, whether a slow ballad, a slamming jazz fusion groove or a high octane swing; is a true testimony to his unselfishness and dexterity as a drummer and person.

As a bass player, I’ve very rarely played with a drummer so versatile yet proficient in his craft with an ingenuity remarkably his own. His open and compassionate mind provides the fuel and creativity to bring any artist’s songs to life. On top of it all, Kent is a consummate professional and a great person to be around.” -Mark Subel, Columbus OH

Music audio files on this site need better organization.  I put up a lot of rough music of stuff I did in the past.

“I had the pleasure of working with Kent Byron many times over the years. I consider him a world-class musician, drummer and keyboard player. Whenever I play with someone else on drums I think to myself  nope, this is not a Kent Byron. And that’s the truth. What makes Kent different?  In my opinion due to his schooled jazz training, Kent plays with a unique style that fits like a glove with whatever we’re trying to accomplish musically.

I would compare him to Kenny Aronoff, a solid hitter, who has developed songs from raw material for John Cougar among others. Kent also reminds me of Jonathan Mover, a complex drummer who has worked with the likes of Joe Satriani and others, topped with influences of Buddy Rich and himself, Kent. He also sings great backup vocals and harmony. Kent has vision that most musicians don’t which makes the creativity level step up to a the quality I look for in a musician. Highly recommended in my book. I’m currently fronting a band called the Road Owls. I’ve been  a professional musician all my life and I seek players with the quality and experience of Kent Byron constantly.”
-Bob Jackson, Guitarist, Band Leader, Singer, Songwriter, Barre, MA

My approach on drums is evolution and growth, like a prayer.

“I’ve played with Kent for three years and continue to gain appreciation for everything he has to offer on drum set, percussion, keyboards and voice. From blues to jazz to rock, Kent consistently lends a tasteful mixture of stylistic knowledge and original ideas that give any ensemble a professional and unique sound.

I’ve come to know Kent as a warm, generous and reliable professional who shares a passion for creating exceptional music. He is first on my list of musicians to call for recording sessions and performances.”

Joe Carcia, Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter, Teacher, Worcester, MA
www.joecarcia.wordpress.com

I check out great drummers on youTube. I still practice. I guess now, instead of being a “professional musician” like I was for years, I am now into music as a “lifestyle.” That means I pursue personal development and practicing to become more free. But the bullshit for me has lessened. I will entertain no more bitterness for the changing club scene or the lack of places to play locally. The pressure is off, I have more room to be creative and do what I want. I don’t stress if I can’t find the next gig. I celebrate original music and give more time to playing that. I work on my own originals and enjoy recording as much as playing live, if not moreso.

“My professional experiences with Kent Byron. In the last 35 + years of playing guitar and bass, Kent is one of the top two drummers that I have ever played with. I have found that drummers with his technical skills and abilities are few and far between. Most drummers we have worked with tend to shy away from the term ‘Fusion’. Kent jumps right in with both hands and both feet
As a bass player, it is very important to me to play with a drummer that I can count on to be where he needs to be when I get there. Playing with Kent gives me a very secure position, and I never have to worry about what he is doing or if he will be ‘there’ when I get ‘there’. His musical communication is excellent. It is a true pleasure to lay down and strong groove and listen to Kent let go and release his capabilities. His soloing always receives an excellent response from the audiences we have played for.

When Kent is not behind his kit, he is a very gentle soul who goes easily through life. In some ways his mellow being is incongruent with his playing abilities. When I first met him I did not expect the energy that comes out when he is behind the kit. He is always willing to do the work and practice needed to accomplish the goals we set for each gig. He comes to rehearsal prepared, and gives more than 100 percent to everything we do.

I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with him in the future and building on the foundation that we have started.” -Uuno Stearns, Bassist, Guitarist, Winchendon, MA

I want to play with others locally like I said above, or else collaborate via transferring studio files. I am available to tour.  I write songs. I play bass, keys and sing lead and backup vocals. I work on my homestead, which is just growth in another package. If interested give me a shout out, let’s see if we have music we mutually enjoy,  if we are lucky enough to mutually enjoy each other’s artistry.  You know how it is. Chemistry is a precious thing and music is fickle. Perhaps we can collaborate. I plan to be here for a while. It would be great to have long-termed musicians to create with. Trick is, we have to inspire each other enough to feel the importance of it. In music as in  sports, a good match makes for the most fun. It does not come auto-magically. I must actively try to meet people frequently. So, introduce yourself! Cheers.

Thanks for taking time out. Tell me what you’re workin’ on.

Kent

Who I like to listen to on the drums I have to mention. If The Light can shine through drumming, these guys are it.  (Subtitle: My drumming influences in random order:)

Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd, Tony Williams, Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Vinnie Colaiuta, Roy Haynes, Steve Jordan, Louis Hayes, Philly Joe Jones, Bill Bruford, Jeff Porcaro, Joe Chambers, Papa Jo Jones, Simon Phillips, Lewis Nash, Tito Puente, Trilok Gurtu, Danny Seraphine, Rick Marotta, Jimmy Cobb, Eric Gravatt, Larry Londin, Dave Weckl, Bill Stewart, J.R. Robinson, Hal Blaine, Bernard Purdie, Mel Lewis, Ronnie Barrage, Tommy Campbell, Billy Higgins, Gary Novak, Louis Bellson, Dafnis Prieto, Terry Bozzio, Shelly Manne, Ed Soph, Vidal “Angel” Rodriguez, Paul Motian, Stewart Copeland, Will Kennedy, Bobby Columby, Tommy Brechtlein, Zutty Singleton, Al Jackson, Al Foster, Danny Tchecko, Eddie Gladden, Max Roach, Omar Hakim, Randy Drake, Jim Keltner, Dennis Chambers, Billy Hart, Zach Danziger, Keith Carlock, Poogie Bell, Steve Ferrone,  Zigaboo Modeliste, Kenwood Dennard, Sly Dunbar, Danny Richmond, Dave Tough, Gary Husband, Sonny Greer, John Faggiano, Michael Baker, Art Blakey, Steve Smith, Heracio “El Negro” Hernandez, Don Alias, Jeff Ballard, Ben Riley, Joe La Barbera, Alex Acuña, Roberto Pettacia, Jan Hammer (No Kiddin’!Awesome drummer!), Fred Wickstrom, Ignacio Berroa, Brian Blade, John Bonham, Big Sid Catlett, Mongo Santamaria, Jonathan Blake, Grady Tate,  Lenny White, Ndugu Chancler, Kenny Clarke, Phil Collins(especially with Brand X), Kirk Covington, Baby Dodds, Peter Erskine, David Garibaldi, Danny Gottlieb, Antonio Sanchez, Jeff Hamilton, Albert Tootie Heath, Levon Helm,  Mark Craney, Charli Persip, Zakir Hussein, Greg Hutchinson, Randy Jones, Manu Katché, Gene Krupa, Don Lamond, Bobby Previte, Pete LaRoca Sims, Victor Lewis, Harvey Mason, Airto Moreira, Neil Peart, Joe Morello, Rod Morgenstein, Idris Muhammad, Mickey Roker, Narada Michael Walden, Ringo Starr, Adam Nussbaum, Earl Palmer, Poncho Sanchez, Thomas Lang, Jim White, Art Taylor, Chester Thompson, Johnny Vidacovich, Chick Webb, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Alan White, Dan Wojciechowski (One of the greatest unknown drummers…sounds like a cross between Weckl and Colaiuta). I seek to find more influences every day and I’m sure I’ve forgotten many here. I’ll add more as I think of them. It’s really good, I believe, to be influenced by as many great players as possible. Above is a good sample of who I’ve enjoyed over the years. And there’s some guys who blew me away and I never knew their names, you know what I’m sayin’. Anyway, if you haven’t yet, check out Trilok Gurtu. What a monster percussionist and a great composer. I’m listenin’ to Kathak. It’s one of my favorite new albums. He’s got his inventive drumset, percussion, tabla, accordion, vocals, great bass playing, guitar and other textures and instruments weave a multi-cultural fabric of sound with interesting forms. It’s a fusion of east meets west and city meets rural.  Trilok’s playful singing percussion in soulful mathematics, just like India itself.

 

My other musical heroes, so far, in no particular order, and I have to go back later and check spelling:

John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Robben Ford, Charlie Parker, Gary Willis, Bruce Hornsby, Bob Berg, Mike Brecker, Don Grolnick, Victor Bailey, Jaco Pastorious, Bach, Prokofiev, Ruben Blades, Chucho Valdes, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Paul McCartney, Randy Brecker, Arthur Blythe, Kenny Garrett, Mino Cinelu, Bobby McFerrin, Mike Stern, John Pattitucci, Will Lee, Victor Wooten, Beethoven, Cedar Walton, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Scott Henderson, Al Dimeola, Anthony Jackson, Chuck Rainey, Donald Fagan, Herbie Hancock, Lester Young, Danilo Perez, Hank Jones, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Alan Holdsworth, Steve Vai, Jimmy Haslip, Frank Zappa, Geddy Lee, Sting, Steve Lukather, Tom Coster, Joe Zawinul, Alphonso Johnson, Herbie Nichols, Oscar Peterson, Leo Kotke, Bud Guinn, Brad Turner, Kim Pensyl, Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, Billie Holiday, Eliane Elias, Mike Pope, Hank Williams Sr. Branford Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Ray Charles, Paul Young, Brian Adams, Pat Metheny, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Carlinos Brown, Milo Deering, Jay Byron, Doug Berry, Terry Hankins, Royce Chambers, John Mayer, John Mayall, James Taylor, Gino Vanelli, Toto, James Brown, Otis Redding, Lou Rawls, Whitney Houston, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Art Tatum, Phineas Newborn, Keith Jarrett. Red Garland, Dave Carpenter, Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Frank Gambale, Mike Maineri, Enya, Lyle Lovett, Alison Kraus, George Michael, Trent Reznor, William Orbit, Paul Simon, Maynard Ferguson, Tito Puente, Don Byron, Woody Shaw, Chris Potter, Brad Meldau, Kenny Kirkland, Darrel Jones, Michael Bublé.

 

Heroic Bands:

All the musicians mentioned above who lead bands (like Bruce Hornsby and Ruben Blades etc.), Beatles, King Crimson, Rush, Steps Ahead, Zawinul Syndicate, Weather Report, Crystal Method, Astral Project, Doobie Brothers, Sly & the Family Stone, Art of Noise, Chicago, Neville Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Trout Fishing In America, YES, Led Zepplin, Gong, Genesis, Steely Dan, Missing Persons, U.K., The Chemical Brothers, N.I.N., Irakere, all that music on world musicology albums from like Indonesia, India, Arabia and Bali, etc.

I’ve forgotten a hell of a lot and its time for lunch! I’ll add to this list as I go. Until then, sorry for all the omissions… looking forward to more discoveries and meeting you.

-Kent

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