Kevin moved to Charleston, SC in the fall of 1999 to study music on a partial scholarship at the College of Charleston. Studying under such great influences as jazz drummer Quentin Baxter, trumpeters Lyle van Wie and Charlton Singleton, composer David Maves, and pianist Tommy Gill, Kevin graduated with B.A. in 2003.
During his time at the college and afterward, Kevin had the opportunity to tour with several bands across the United States and Europe and has played at such memorable locations as the Baggott Inn and the Lion’s Den in New York City, the Florabama Lounge in Pensacola, Florida, The Continental Club in Austin Texas, The Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia, Eighty Queen in Edinburgh, Scotland and the Jazz Hole and Mississippi Jazz Club in Rome, Italy and many more.
Kevin’s current projects reflect what he has learned on the road and his original works have his deeply personal flair for complex melodies presented in a deceptively simple fashion, offset by clear, golden, evocative harmonies, all blending into surprisingly catchy, modern tunes. The latest project, “Absalon” features some of the best musicians Charleston, SC has to offer with each band member touring regularly with various groups such as Morimoto, Leah Suarez, Lindsay Holler and more. Each musician in Absalon has an equal role in composing and arranging for the band, which makes the overall sound one that is very unique and immediately identifiable.
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"Kevin Hackler is a first-class horn player! Whether he’s festively playing a cocktail hour with his spectacular trio of musicians or setting off the sounds of a 12-piece band, Kevin is sure to steal the show! His legendary talents, professionalism and dedication to pleasing the crowd make him a favorite."
"He's got a keen sense of performance and also a great ability to put players together and write great songs. I haven't seen that in this modern era of music."