Ask a few people about Greg Kavanagh.
After a time, you might begin to think that he is suffering from a multiple personality disorder! Some know him as the “dance guy”, understandably so since his work with BKS (he’s the K part) earned him three Juno nominations, one Juno award, four Top10 hits, a MuchMusic Video Award, and resulted in sales of over three million records. Others would argue that he is a world-class multi-instrumentalist who has worked with such music greats as David Foster, Aretha Franklin, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.
No matter what the project, Greg Kavanagh brings with him a wealth of knowledge and practical experience gleaned from over 25 years of working in the industry. At age 16 he was studying guitar and piano; playing with rock and R&B bands and making the rounds of the Halifax club circuit. Within a couple of years he moved to L.A. where he studied guitar with the world-renowned Lee Ritenour before eventually moving to Detroit. Once in Detroit, he immersed himself in the vibrant R&B scene and joined some heavyweight players who were forming a back-up band for Aretha Franklin.
“I worked with people like Ralph Armstrong, who used to be in the Mahavishnu Orchestra,” recalls Greg. “Most were twice my age and it was a great learning experience.” Greg brought that experience with him when he moved to Toronto in the early 80’s, procuring choice gigs with M+M and Zappacosta, and appearing on CBC Television specials with such talents as Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, and Judy Collins. As if all that didn’t keep him busy enough, Greg began composing and producing music and library material for television and radio.
Before long he was devoting all his energy to building up his studio while writing, recording and working on developing artists, and establishing his label GKM. More and more, people began identifying him as Greg Kavanagh, ‘the producer’. Greg jumped on the ‘big bandwagon’, producing two albums as a tribute to Glenn Miller. In order to ensure a recording that matched the originals, Greg visited libraries and called RCA studios in New York, even going as far as to track down the actual microphones used on the original Glenn Miller records. The results were so authentic that the Glenn Miller Society approached the Canadian Allstars to represent them in Canada as the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Greg completed a third Glenn Miller instrumental tribute album for release internationally.
Greg has created a comfortable, intimate state-of-the-art studio, Kavasound. Kavasound has allowed Greg the freedom to compose, produce and engineer successful artists such as Jennifer Warnes, Chrissie Hynde, BKS, Guido Basso, Wendy Lands, Ashley MacIsaac, Monster Voodoo Machine, East 17, Dan Hill, Michael Burgess, Colm Wilkinson to name a few. Currently Greg is busy working on projects with new artists signed to his label GKM.
Based on Greg’s eclectic history, it is quite easy to see why bestowing him with any one title could cause confusion. One fact, however, remains indisputable. Greg is versatile and has achieved success across many different music genres.