Say a guitar-playing musician comes from Texas, and the usual public image that comes to mind will be a country outlaw, a Tex-Mex fireball, or a freaked-out rock maniac. Exceptions can be found for all rules, though, and, like Davíd Garza and Charalambides, Ft. Worth-born Kevin McCormick has his own particular path to follow. Straddling worlds of intensely personal rock, formal musical training, and worldwide performing traditions, McCormick combines his backgrounds to create striking, involved compositions with rich, unexpected arrangements.
McCormick began with music early, starting on both guitar and general classical instruction before he was ten. Influences ranged from a variety of composers (including Arvo Pärt, who inspired a prize-winning poem he wrote in 1990) to many bands, notably Talk Talk and Echo & the Bunnymen. McCormick's wide-ranging university studies included receiving a degree in English Literature from Notre Dame and classical guitar instruction at the Centro Romano Della Chitarra. The early '90s found McCormick in Japan for a four-year stay, during which time he studied the koto, performed in a variety of musical groups, and recorded his first album, With the Coming of Evening, in 1993. Further musical study at the Indiana University School of Music led to a diploma in guitar performance in 1997, while a second album followed in 1999, Squall. Other compositions McCormick has created run the range from guitar instrumentals to a church mass.
2000 found McCormick creating a new group, the Kevin McCormick Ensemble, to perform his works and newer composition in a live context.