Kevin Hart was born into a musical family in Bourbon nais Illinois and began playing his father's drums to jazz records at an early age.
mother, a church organist, enrolled him in piano lessons in third grade, and he
continued to experiment with jazz piano throughout high school.
An older sister purchased a vibraphone, and Kevin
began imitating the sounds of Lionel Hampton.
At 15, Hart
began drumming with established local musicians, while experimenting on various instruments throughout high school.
As a music student at Eastern Illinois University
in the 1980s, Hart
played drums, vibes, and piano in various groups.
While playing drums in the jazz ensemble, Kevin
and his fellow musicians played with jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, and Rufus Reid.
Upon accepting a teaching assistantship at the University of Northern Iowa
began graduate school.
Masters degree completed, Hart
accepted a teaching assistantship at the University of Illinois
and began working on his
organized his own vibe-based groups and began performing at numerous venues, festivals, and concerts throughout the state while at the same time working with many notable regional musicians such as Ron Bridgewater, John Scott, Brian Wilke, Jeff Helgesen, Rachael Lee, Gaile Thomas, Jane Hartman, Dave Dreyer, Dave Hoffman, Sam Crain, and Mike Nellas.
In the past few years, Hart
has performed with jazz greats such as Jack McDuff, Steve Turre, Henry Butler, Jerry Bergonzi, Terrell Stafford, Rufus Reid, and Jeff Newell.
continues to perform with his
current groups Kevin Hart
& the Vibe Tribe, and the piano-based Kevin Hart
frequently performs as a sideman with The Swing Daddies, Cassie and Friends, Joe Metzka, and many others.
Hart is also an instructor at Knox College, Parkland College, and Illinois State University.