Search this site

KEVIN SPEARS and JOSHUA MESSICK Appearing Fri July 21st 2017 at 8pm

$12 in advance

$15 at the door

Considered by many as one of the best kalimba players alive today, Kevin Spears musical gifts have astounded audiences around the world and rewritten what is possible on the traditional African musical instrument called kalimba.

"Kevin Spears puts on a performance full of groove, sound and intimacy that draws you into his unique yet universal world"
Benoit Glazer Musical Director CIRQUE Du SOLEIL

Spears' music is a funky mix of World, Jazz, Latin, Rock and Electronica and his ability to express his soul through his instrument and music is engaging to audiences worldwide. He says "I started playing kalimba when I was 10 yrs old from seeing the legendary Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire play that strange instrument. After my mom bought my first kalimba, for the next 20 yrs it literally became medicine for my soul."

For his masterful gifts, Kevin was flown to Anaheim CA. as the featured artist at the 2014 NAMM Show's Breakfast Of  Champions event which he received a standing ovation for his rousing performance and created considerable buzz among thousands of attendees who witnessed his blinding skill, musical creativity and quiet humility on display.

Witness Kevin's live performance with the array of sounds he evokes from this exotic instrument and you will conclude this is a special artist who is fully one with his instrument of choice".

Kevin Spears utilizes the traditional African instrument and tweaks it to create a soulful, funky sound that would make Stevie Wonder smile.”
AfroPop Worldwide

Often compared to legends such as Herbie Hancock, Jimi Hendrix, Les Paul and Charlie Parker, Kevin's unusual playing style and groundbreaking work as a kalimba innovator was highlighted with a special kalimba being named after him called the "Kevin Spears Style Kalimba".

In addition to being a gifted musical artist, inventor, instrument builder and mixed media artist, Spears performs internationally including a recent tour of Japan and has worked with and/or opened for
artists such as: Victor Wooten, India.Arie, Karen Briggs, Rising Appalachia, Toubab Krewe, Count Mbutu (of the Derek Trucks Band), Roy "FutureMan" Wooten, Coy Bowles (of the Zac Brown Band), Mamadou Doumbia, Eric Benet, Arrested Development, Steven Kent, Col. Bruce Hampton, Lizz Wright, Richard Smith (guitarist Earth, Wind and Fire) and Divinity (bassist for Beyonce).

As a professional clinician, Kevin's enthusiastic and thought-provoking performance lecture has been presented/sponsored by professional and academic organizations around the country including: 50th Anniversary of the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), SAM ASH Music Stores, Asheville Percussion Festival, Jazz Funk Africa Festival (Yokohama, Japan), National Black Arts Festival, Georgia State University, Morehouse University, DrumStrong Festival, Goombay Cultural Festival and more.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Maurice White, Zakir Hussain, Tabla Beat Science, Paco de Lucia, Miles Davis, Marcus Miller, James Brown, George Benson, Ballake Sissoko, Toumani Diabate, Kim Burrell, Al DiMeola, Giovanni Hildalgo, Herbie Hancock, Paulinho Da Costa, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Kirk Whalum, Michael Jordan and others.

In addition to performing in numerous venues nationally and internationally, Kevin's music and live performances have been enthusiastically received in approximately 20-30 church organizations over the past 10 years.

Experience the powerful musical gifts of Kevin Spears, they are guaranteed to move your feet and stir your soul.


“Joshua Messick is one of a handful of new, young virtuoso hammered dulcimer players emerging from around the country. He is a National Hammered Dulcimer Champion and continues to grow and mature as an exceptional talent. His skill on the instrument doesn’t begin and end with his technical proficiency. He has an amazing sense for composition and has written, and continues to write, beautiful passages that specifically highlight the unique qualities and strengths of the hammered dulcimer. Joshua is a player who understands the power of the space between the notes and has the ability to transform a solo piece into a symphonic experience.” 
Jerry Ready Smith, Master Hammered Dulcimer Luthier - 

When his four-year-old ears heard the hammered dulcimer for the first time, Joshua Messick turned to his mom and said, “I promise I will learn to play the hammered dulcimer before I am thirty.” At nine, when he got ahold of a pair of dulcimer hammers and coaxed sound from the strings for the first time, a music teacher asked how long he had been taking lessons. “I haven’t,” he said, still going at it. It’s as if Joshua came into this world equipped with a pre-existing relationship with the hammered dulcimer. Joshua began arranging music at ten and composing in high school.

By the time he was eighteen, he became the 2003 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion Joshua is first and foremost a composer, crafting original compositions drawing from Celtic, Indian, Japanese, and New Age styles. For those who love more traditional music, he breathes new life into Appalachian Folk, Hymns, Classical, and traditional favorites. “I’ve put my entire life into this music,” he tells an interviewer, and it is readily apparent. 

Few musicians can span the breadth of styles he easily plays. Enjoy his music on iTunes or CDs, or catch him playing live and you will feel the soulful presence that stirs in his music. You will be transported to a peaceful, nourishing place. Messick further elaborates his soul by stating, “how music relates to people is something that fascinates me. Music is the sound of the human spirit and for me is prayer without words. There has been a process for me to understand the place music has in my life and why I play it. I used to play only for the purpose of becoming good. Now, I play music because I love it with an understanding that music is God’s gift to experience His love and healing. In addition to this, I seek to play honestly from the heart, learn as much as I can, and enjoy music”

Most recently, Joshua was selected to travel to Japan to record as part of the soundtrack of a major studio film release,  "Mary and the Witch's Flower".  While in Japan he was invited to play on the new release from Japanese pop sensation, SEKAI NO OWARI.