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Kevin Eubanks

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  • Born: Philadelphia, PA
  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

An adept guitarist with a bent toward contemporary jazz, Kevin Eubanks is best known for leading the Tonight Show Band with host Jay Leno. Born in 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Eubanks grew up in a musical family along with his older brother, trombonist Robin, and younger brother, trumpeter Duane -- his uncle is pianist Ray Bryant. A talented musician by his teens, Eubanks eventually studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduating, he played with a bevy of name musicians including drummer Roy Haynes and saxophonist Sam Rivers; he was also a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1980 to 1981. Eubanks made his solo recording debut with Guitarist on Elektra in 1982. He then signed with GRP and released seven albums, beginning with 1984's Sundance and ending with 1989's Promise of Tomorrow. Moving to Blue Note, Eubanks released several albums including 1992's Turning Point, 1993's Spiritalk, 1994's Spiritalk 2, and 1994's Live at Bradley's. In 1992, he joined bandleader Branford Marsalis on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and in 1995, Eubanks took over the band when Marsalis left. His friendly chemistry and humorous repartee with Leno quickly established the guitarist as a household name. While the Tonight Show band was his focus during this time, Eubanks did release several albums on his own Insoul label. In 2009, Eubanks moved with Leno to lead the Primetime Band on NBC's short-lived The Jay Leno Show. In 2010, Eubanks left The Tonight Show shortly after Leno returned to host it. That same year, Eubanks delivered the album Zen Food on Mack Avenue Records, and in 2012, he returned with his second Mack Avenue release, the stylistically eclectic The Messenger.

eMusic Features

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The Postmodern Blues of Joe Louis Walker

By John Morthland, Contributor

Can there be any doubt that Joe Louis Walker has finally arrived? Between a Rock and the Blues, released in the fall of 2009, has earned him five Blues Music Awards nominations, more than any other artist. After a quarter-century on the national circuit, it's about time. Walker is a postmodern bluesman firmly rooted in tradition. He's absorbed postwar electric guitarists, ranging from the three Kings to the Texas-to-California school led by T-Bone Walker; he also… more »