Kevin Mahogany

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Kevin Mahogany
Mahogany at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Jazz Festival, 2007
Mahogany at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Jazz Festival, 2007
Background information
Birth nameKevin Bryant Mahogany
Born(1958-07-30)July 30, 1958
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
DiedDecember 17, 2017(2017-12-17) (aged 59)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.

Kevin Bryant Mahogany (July 30, 1958 – December 17, 2017) was an American jazz vocalist who became prominent in the 1990s. Particularly known for his scat singing, his singing style has been compared with those of Billy Eckstine, Joe Williams[1] and Johnny Hartman.[2]

Early years[edit]

Mahogany began his study of music as a child with piano and later learned to play the clarinet and baritone saxophone, performing with jazz bands and teaching music while still in high school.[3] He said, "When I was a kid, music was just as important as English and math in our household... Piano lessons were a grade school staple for the whole family."[4] He attended Baker University, where he performed with instrumental and vocal ensembles and formed a vocal jazz group. In 1981, he received his BFA in music and English drama.


After graduating, Mahogany returned to Kansas City, where he attracted a local following in the 1980s performing with his groups "The Apollos" and "Mahogany". In 1995 he was featured on a CD by Frank Mantooth.[5]

Mahogany's first CD as a solo artist was Double Rainbow (1993). It was followed by the album Kevin Mahogany (1996), which gained positive attention in the media, and prompted Newsweek to call Mahogany "the standout jazz vocalist of his generation."[5]

Mahogany appeared in Robert Altman's film Kansas City (1996), playing a character said to be based on Kansas City singer Big Joe Turner.[6]

In 1997, Mahogany was featured on the soundtrack to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil singing Laura, written by Johnny Mercer.

He has listed his vocal influences as Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Al Jarreau and Eddie Jefferson.[5] He has taught at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the University of Miami.[7]

In 2016, he was featured on the track "Special Girl" on the CD Bang & Classic by Polish rapper Bosski Roman.[8]


Mahogany died on December 17, 2017 from the effects of diabetes. He was 59.[3][9][10]


As leader[edit]

  • Double Rainbow (Enja, 1993)
  • Songs and Moments (Enja, 1994)
  • You Got What It Takes (Enja, 1995)
  • Kevin Mahogany (Warner Bros., 1996)
  • Another Time Another Place (Warner Bros., 1997)
  • My Romance (Warner Bros., 1998)
  • Pussy Cat Dues: The Music of Charles Mingus (Enja, 2000)
  • Pride & Joy (Telarc, 2002)
  • Big Band (Zebra, 2005)
  • The Vienna Affair (Cracked AnEgg, 2015)

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Kevin Mahogany Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  2. ^ Emerson, Dan (July 21, 2008). "Mahogany's tribute does justice to Kansas City jazz". St. Paul Pioneer Press.
  3. ^ a b Russonello, Giovanni (December 19, 2017). "Kevin Mahogany, Masterly Jazz Singer, Is Dead at 59". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Visiting Guest Artist - Kevin Mahogany". Minnesota State University, Mankato. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Kevin Mahogany Biography". Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Kohlhaase, Bill (January 25, 1999). "Sensitive Side Is One of Many Mahogany Modes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  7. ^ Newsom, Jim (November 2, 2004). "Kevin Mahogany: An Independent Voice". Port Folio Weekly.
  8. ^ Bosski DM Firma (2016-03-08), Bosski ft.Kevin Mahogany&Sonia Lachowolska "Special Girl" prod.Baltik (official video), archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved 2018-10-13
  9. ^ Janovy, C. J. (December 18, 2017). "Kevin Mahogany, Internationally Known Jazz Vocalist From Kansas City, Dies At 59". KCUR-FM.
  10. ^ Finn, Timothy (December 18, 2017). "Kansas City jazz singer Kevin Mahogany has died". The Kansas City Star.

External links[edit]