Calvin Keys

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Calvin Keys
Born(1943-02-06)February 6, 1943
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
GenresJazz, soul jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
InstrumentsElectric guitar
Years active1969–present
LabelsBlack Jazz, Wide Hive
Associated actsRay Charles, Ahmad Jamal, Jimmy Smith

Calvin Keys is an American jazz guitarist, known for the several albums he released for Black Jazz Records.[1]

Keys has performed and recorded with Ray Charles, Ahmad Jamal, John Handy, Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Marshall, Sonny Stitt, Pharoah Sanders, Joe Henderson and Leon Williams.[2]


  • "Calvin is a natural. His playing is so deep in the pocket, it comes off elegant and effortless." - Mercury News[citation needed]
  • "At times, his fluid fingerpicking threatened to free itself completely from its rhythmic moorings and escape the building into the night sky." - East Bay Express[citation needed]
  • "This man can list such sterling greats as Ray Charles, Ahmad Jamal, Carmen McRae, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson, Gloria Lynn, M.C. Hammer, Sonny Stitt, Tony Bennett and Luther Vandross as just a few of the folks he has performed and/or recorded with." - Pacifica Tribune[citation needed]


As leader

  • Shawn Neeq (Black Jazz, 1971) reissued by Tompkins Square in 2012
  • Proceed With Caution (Black Jazz, 1974)
  • Criss Cross (Ovation, 1977)
  • Full Court Press (Olive Branch, 1983)
  • Maria's First (1987)
  • Standard Keys (Life Force Jazz, 1997)
  • Detours: Into Unconscious Rhythms (Wide Hive, 2000)
  • Touch (Olive Branch, 2000)
  • An Evening With Calvin Keys (Lifeforce, 2003)
  • Calvinesque (Silverado, 2005)
  • Vertical Clearance (Wide Hive, 2006)
  • Hand Made Portrait (Silverado, 2006)

With Ahmad Jamal

With others

  • Badfoot Bill & the Bunions Marching Band, Bill Cosby (1972)
  • Forever Love, Ricardo Scales (1996)
  • I Wanna Be Loved, Denise Perrier (Chez Perrier, 1997)
  • Salty Pappa Blues, Denise Perrier (Concord, 1997)
  • Life On Uranus, The Nova Ghost Sect-tet (A-Records, 1998)
  • I Ain't Doin' Too Bad, James Van Buren (Van Buren, 1998)
  • The Jazz Professor, Bill Bell (Professor, 1999)
  • Halad: The Offering, Robbie Kwock / Melicio Magdalayo Sextet (RKjazz, 2001)
  • From My Heart, Guarneri Jazz Quartet (2003)
  • Chromatology, Upsurge (Abolition Media, 2003)
  • Marian Gurnere (2003)


  • In Celebration of Life (American-Italian Cancer Foundation, 2003)
  • Hear Music Volume 7, Track: "Walking" (Hear Music, 2002)
  • LifeForce Records Compilation, Calvin Keys Quartet (Life Force Jazz)


  1. ^ Allmusic Discography
  2. ^ Calvin Keys at Totally Guitars. Retrieved 2013-01-25.

External links[edit]