Kevin Hicks
Life and the Drum

...the Road Back Home

I was born in Ottawa, Canada, and moved to Nanaimo British Columbia, a small community on Vancouver Island, Canada, when I was 3. This also happens to be where jazz great Diana Krall went to school.

Being a member of a musical family, my dad and older brother Billy both played drums. I started playing drums in elementary school. Playing the drums became an obsession when I entered high school. Since the age of 14, I had been asked to play with some of the local blues musicians. Because these opportunities to play were in bars, I was asked to spend my breaks in the back hallways. As long as I promised to attend school the next day my mother allowed me to play these gigs. Keep in mind that the city of Nanaimo has a very low crime rate and I am sure that was a key factor in my mom's decision to let me follow my dream of being a musician.

By the age 16, jazz music had found a place in my heart. It was then that my high school band went to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho. All of my practice and dedication gained me the attention of Wally "Gator" Watson, drummer for Lionel Hampton.

Our friendship remained solid over the next few years as I ran into some serious personal problems. Through these dire times, I constantly found peace in music.

Still tarnished by the past, I began to travel the world, finding more than what I was looking for. In honor of my savior, I spent the turn of the millennium in Bethlehem, Israel. That trip came to a close as I journeyed up through Turkey in order to buy some priceless cymbals.

With my spirit back intact, and the cymbals from Istanbul, I was ready to play again.