“When Cole sits down at the piano, you would swear Gershwin himself was at work… Cole stands as the best Gershwin pianist in America today.”
Howard Reich, arts critic for the Chicago Tribune.
“America’s Pianist” Kevin Cole has delighted audiences with a repertoire that includes the best of American Music. Cole’s performances have prompted accolades from some of the foremost critics in America. “A piano genius…he reveals an understanding of harmony, rhythmic complexity and pure show-biz virtuosity that would have had Vladimir Horowitz smiling with envy,” wrote critic Andrew Patner.
Engagements for Cole have included: sold-out performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall; National Symphony at the Kennedy Center; Hong Kong Philharmonic; San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra (London); Boston Philharmonic, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (Australia) Minnesota Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra; New Zealand Symphony, Edmonton Symphony (Canada), Ravinia Festival, Wolf Trap, Savannah Music Festival, Castleton Festival, Chautauqua Institute, and many others. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Albany Symphony in May 2013.
He has shared the concert stage with Liza Minnelli, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, William Warfield, Sylvia McNair, Lorin Maazel, Itzhak Perlman, Brian d’Arcy James, Barbara Cook,
Robert Klein, Lucie Arnaz, Maria Friedman, Idina Menzel, and friend and mentor Marvin Hamlisch. Kevin was featured soloist for the PBS special, Gershwin at One Symphony Place with the Nashville Symphony. He has written, directed, co-produced and performed a multimedia concert for the Gershwins called HERE TO STAY- The Gershwin Experience, PLAY IT AGAIN, MARVIN!-A Celebration of the music of Marvin Hamlisch with Pittsburgh Symphony and YOU’RE THE TOP!- Cole Porter’s 125th Celebration for the Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony.
Kevin Cole is an award-winning musical director, arranger, composer, vocalist and archivist who garnered the praises of Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg, Hugh Martin, Burton Lane,
Marvin Hamlisch, Stephen Sondheim, and members of the Jerome Kern and Gershwin families. He has worked as vocal arranger/accompanist for opera, pop, and musical theatre performers Sylvia McNair, Dawn Upshaw, Brian d’Arcy James, Karen Morrow, Melissa Manchester, John Lithgow, Donna McKechnie, Christine Andreas, Hollis Resnik, Klea Blackhurst, Kim Criswell, and William Warfield.
He has served as Musical Director for Pasadena Playhouse, Michigan Ensemble Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and Royal George Theatre (Chicago). Kevin worked with songwriting legend Hugh Martin. Mr. Martin was vocal coach to Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Judy Garland, and many others. His discography includes Gramophone Musical Album of the Year, 1995, Gershwin’s Oh, Kay! with soprano Dawn Upshaw (Elektra/Nonesuch), his critically acclaimed solo piano disc, Cole Plays Gershwin, and his vocal/jazz trio album In The Words Of Ira-The Songs of Ira Gershwin.