Who is Kyle Athayde?
Kyle Athayde is a San Francisco Bay Area based composer, arranger, performer, teacher, and bandleader. A native of Orinda, California, Kyle primarily plays vibraphone, piano, trumpet, and drums, as well as bongo, congas, timbales, string bass, bass clarinet, sousaphone, and vocal percussion. He is the leader, conductor, and principal writer for the San Francisco/New York based big band, "Kyle Athayde Dance Party", a group acclaimed for its versatility in the wide scope of styles it performs. He is also a keyboard, trumpet, and percussion player for the Bay Area collective “Jazz Mafia”, and is the pianist for The New York Trumpet Ensemble.
Influenced by the music of J. S. Bach, Duke Ellington, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Eric Dolphy, Dmitri Shostakovich, Louis Armstrong, Igor Stravinsky, Charlie Parker, Olivier Messiaen, Art Tatum, and many others, Athayde composes and arranges music in a variety of genres, with an emphasis on jazz, classical, salsa, and electronic. While an undergraduate student at Juilliard, Kyle was heavily immersed in an inter-disciplinary arts environment which included dance, drama, and music, which provided him the opportunity to further develop and refine his programmatic approach to composition.
Athayde’s recent commissioned compositions and premieres include a double concerto for the New York Sinfonietta, a tone poem for Bobby Sanabria and The Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra (the title track of their most recent album, ¡QUE VIVA HARLEM!), two pieces for choir and band for The University of Scranton’s performing ensembles, and music for the ending credits of the film "Diller, Scofidio + Renfro: Reimagining Lincoln Center and the High Line." He also arranged the music for the halftime show for the University of California at Berkeley Marching Band in their final performance of the 2013 season. Kyle is currently working on commissions for the Canadian Brass, The New York Trumpet Ensemble, Manhattan School of Music Trumpet Ensemble, and the San Francisco Conservatory Brass Choir.
Committed to inter-disciplinary educational outreach in the arts, Kyle has offered classes, clinics, lessons and masterclasses at schools, workshops, and camps in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Alaska. A regular visiting faculty member of the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, he recently developed and taught a class on video game music history and composition there, and directed the jazz band and a vocal hip hop class. He is the Director of Curriculum at the Lafayette Summer Music Workshop, and regularly offers clinics and masterclasses to middle school and high school bands throughout Northern California.
Kyle has a wide range of interests, and loves to teach and learn about a variety of subjects, which brings a wide stylistic variety to his music, as his diverse interests inspire his work. A passionate fan of American football, the ruthless power and strategy of the sport influence his exciting writing style. An avid gamer, the music of these games has inspired some of his most unusual and engaging compositions.