Kevin Norton

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Kevin Norton (born January 21, 1956) is an American percussionist and composer active in the New York City jazz and contemporary music scenes. He has performed and recorded with a diverse group of musicians, including Anthony Braxton, Paul Dunmall, Milt Hinton, Fred Frith, David Krakauer, Joëlle Léandre, Frode Gjerstad, Wilber Morris, James Emery, Bern Nix, and many others.[1] In 1999, he founded Barking Hoop Recordings, a record label dedicated to releasing new and original music.[2] The label has released 11 CDs to date, which feature Norton’s own groups as well as artists such as Anthony Braxton, Kevin O'Neil, Billy Stein, and the String Trio of New York.

Education and career[edit]

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Norton grew up in Staten Island and later studied composition at CUNY's Hunter College, where he began his association with bassist Milt Hinton. Norton would later record the album The Judge's Decision with Hinton in 1986. Upon graduation from Hunter College, he attended the Manhattan School of Music and earned his Master's degree in classical percussion.[3] After school he began getting involved with the "downtown New York City" scene, and began working with Fred Frith's experimental rock band Keep the Dog (which also featured saxophonist John Zorn and harpist Zeena Parkins). Some other collaborators during this period include Phillip Johnston and Joel Forrester. Beginning in 1998, Norton is currently teaching at William Paterson University.[3]

He began the Barking Hoop label in 1999 with a live concert recording of a piece he composed for the French situationist theorist Guy Debord, "with Braxton cast as sideman. 'I taped the concert, not thinking I was going to put it out,' Norton says. 'But I was so happy with the results that I thought, well, this should come out.'"[3]

More recently, Norton has been working in various configurations with musicians Tony Malaby, Dave Ballou, John Lindberg, Scott Robinson, Connie Crothers, and J. D. Parran.


As a leader[edit]

  • Time-Space Modulator
  • Quark Bercuse (Solo Percussion Vol. 1)
  • "Born in Brooklyn" (w/ Frode Gjerstad, Nick Stephens)
  • "Winter In New York 2006" (w/ Joëlle Léandre)
  • Intuitive Structures
  • Ocean of Earth
  • The Dream Catcher (for Wilber Morris)
  • not only in that golden tree...
  • Change Dance (Troubled Energy)
  • Play the Music of Anthony Braxton
  • For Guy Debord (in nine events)
  • In Context/Out of Context
  • Knots
  • Integrated Variables

As sideman[edit]

With Anthony Braxton

  • Composition 193 (Tentet) (Braxton House BH-004)
  • Small Ensemble Music (Wesleyan) (Splasc(h) Records CDH 801.2, 1994)
  • Performance: Compositions No. 185/186 Istanbul, October 1995 (Braxton House BH-001, 1995)
  • Ensemble (New York) 1995 (Braxton House BH-007, 1995)
  • Four Compositions: Quartet, August 19, 1995 (Braxton House BH-005, 1995)
  • Octet (New York) 1995 (BH-006, 1995)
  • Ninetet (Yoshi's) 1997 Vol. 1 Leo Records 343/344
  • Ninetet (Yoshi's) 1997 Vol. 2 Leo Records 382/383
  • Ninetet (Yoshi's) 1997 Vol. 3 Leo Records 420/421
  • Ninetet (Yoshi's) 1997 Vol. 4 Leo Records 500/501
  • Tentet (Wesleyan) 1997 Part 1 NBH 020 (New Braxton House Records)
  • Tentet” (Wesleyan) 1997 Part 2 NBH 021
  • GTM (Knitting Factory) 1997 Vol. 1” NBH015
  • GTM (Knitting Factory) 1997 Vol. 2” NBH016
  • Four Compositions (Washington, DC) 1998 (Braxton House BH-009, 1998)
  • Trillium R (Shala Fears for the Poor) an opera in 4 acts Braxton House BH-008
  • 10 Compositions (Quartet 2000) (CIMP #225, 2000)
  • 9 Compositions (Hill) 2000 (CIMP #236, 2000)
  • Tentet” (Wesleyan) 2000 Part 1 NBH 013
  • Tentet” (Wesleyan) 2000 Part 2 NBH 014
  • Tentet (Antwerp) 2000 Part 1 NBH009.1
  • Tentet (Antwerp) 2000 Part 2 NBH009.2
  • Tentet (Paris) 2001 NBH037
  • Composition No. 285 (Antwerp, 2000) (Splasc(h) Records, 2003)
  • 8 Standards (Wesleyan) 2001 (Barking Hoop BKH-004, 2001)
  • 23 Standards (Quartet) 2003 (Leo, released 2004)
  • 20 Standards (Quartet) 2003 (Leo, released in 2005)
  • 19 Standards (Quartet) 2003 (Leo, released in 2010)

With Anthony Coleman

With Milt Hinton

  • The Judge's Decision (Exposure 6231910)

With Steve Swell

With John Zorn


  1. ^ "Kevin Norton - Jazz Studies Professor & Band Leader", Innovative Percussion, Inc.
  2. ^ barking hoop at Kevin Norton website.
  3. ^ a b c Aaron Steinberg, "/kevin Norton", JazzTimes, November 2002.

External links[edit]