Nova is the soundtrack to a movie starring Fred Astaire and Lena Horne, directed by Federico Fellini. (Which is a strong contender for the best movie never made.) It’s the kind of record, at least, you make as one of St. Louis’ most respected drummers, featured in Modern Drummer, fresh from releasing a well-received album with soul-punk band The Feed and then lately inspired by a deep & deepening trip through Spain. In other words, it’s intoxicating, it’s invigorating, it’s joyous. Like Kevin Bowers himself, it knows why secrets are whispered. And how to throw a party.
Kevin’s sketch of Spain is the story of two lovers meeting near the Mediterranean Sea. Lyrically, it’s visual, concise, reminiscing. Sonically, it’s expansive, layered, ranging over Latin America and Africa. Brazilian samba, psychedelic rock, solo drum pieces—all find expression in 12 songs attuned to the rhythms of romance and percussive because that’s what love is. The leap forward in songcraft is as much personal as artistic. Nova is not only what a drummer at heart makes but also a genre-hopping composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist. This time out, Bowers focused on arranging material for others to sing (unlike his previous two solo releases, My Love Is Yours and Nine Story Building, where he was the lead vocalist). It was a decision—one he made early on—that guided the tones and textures of the songs themselves: restless, innovative and entirely right for the record. They mean to transport you to a better and exciting place, and they do.
Nova also has the distinction of gathering some of the finest rock, blues and jazz musicians (and friends) in St. Louis. Together, they manage to croon like Tony Bennett, pop like Sergio Mendes and pulse like the Beatles at their trippiest. This is music that must be performed and heard live. Nova is available now at select stores and online.
September 9, 2018 @ The Grandel Theatre ** St. Louis, MO 4:00 PM
April 20, 2018 @ Jazz At the Bistro ** St. Louis, MO 7:30 & 9:30 PM
April 21, 2018 @ Jazz At the Bistro ** St. louis, MO 7:30 & 9:30 PM
October 14, 2017 @ KDHX's 30th Birthday Bash ** St. Louis, MO 4:30 PM
September 9, 2017 @ LouFest Music Festival - A Special Chuck Berry Tribute ** St. Louis, MO 8:00 PM
July 19, 2017 @ Whitaker Music Festival - Missouri Botanical Garden ** St. Louis, MO 7:30 PM
May 6, 2017 @ Jazz At the Bistro ** St. Louis, MO 7:30 & 9:30 PM
May 5, 2017 @ Jazz At the Bistro ** St. Louis, MO 7:30 & 9:30 PM
August 11, 2016 Nova Album Release Show @ Off Broadway ** St. Louis, MO 8 PM
Chuck Berry Tribute @ Loufest
It was such an honor to be a music director alongside Eric Krasno (Soulive) for the Chuck Berry Tribute at LouFest. I had an incredible time playing drums behind Huey Lewis, Captain Kirk Douglas (The Roots), Rashawn Ross (Dave Matthews Band), Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy), Chris Chew (North Mississippi Allstars), Valerie June, Britt Daniel (Spoon), Pokey LaFarge and Cage the Elephant. Let's do this again!
Here is some press for the Chuck Berry Tribute at LouFest Music Festival.
NOVA NEWS & UPDATES
I am honored and excited to be a part of the 27th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) on November 1-11. Check out the official trailer created by Sleepy Kitty Arts, which includes music from Kevin Bowers’ Nova. The trailer will kick off each film at the festival and we can’t wait for you to see it in select theaters near you. For more information, visit www.cinemastlouis.org. See you at the movies!
Thank you to the Kranzberg Arts Foundation and sponsors for putting together such a special event at The Grandel. It was an honor to share the stage and building with so many remarkable STL bands. A very big thanks to all the fans who came out and showed their support. We love you!
Photography by Nate Burrell.
Check out this new concert poster made by Sleepy Kitty Arts! Limited copies will be available at the Artist Merch Table at The Grandel this Sunday, 9/9. Kevin Bowers’ Nova takes the stage at 4 PM.
I'm back from my adventures in Havana, Cuba, where I studied with incredible drum and percussion teachers. Getting lost in the colorful streets of Havana while exploring its fascinating culture and heritage was inspiring. It was a life-changing trip.
Somewhere in Old Havana. Photo below by Yosel Vazquez. Be sure to look him up if you're traveling to Cuba.
I'm feeling loved right now! Thank you to Jeremy Essig and Riverfront Times for the kind words. It's an honor to be included in this list with so many remarkable St. Louis musicians.
Such an inspiring afternoon! Hanging with world-class drummer, Gregg Bissonette, and master recording engineer and dear friend, Jason McEntire. Thanks to Jim Uding and Steve Bunck at Dixon Drums for hosting a solid group of drummers and filming this outstanding masterclass.
What an incredible weekend that was! THANK YOU to everyone who danced and celebrated with us at Jazz St. Louis - Jazz At the Bistro. See you at the next show. We love you!
Feeling the love! Thank you Kevin C. Johnson and St. Louis Post-Dispatch for the support.
I’m very excited to announce that Kevin Bowers - NOVA will be performing at Jazz At the Bistro - Jazz St. Louis on April 20 and 21. The shows will feature a stellar cast of musicians and dancers. This will be a musical event you do not want to miss. Tickets ON SALE NOW. Reserve your seats at http://tickets.jazzstl.org.
Here is a brand new song called "Island in the City" featuring Paige Brubeck and Michael Aguirre on vocals. We had a lot of fun shooting this live video and we hope you enjoy it.
I am extremely happy and honored to be a part of this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival on Nov. 2-12. The official trailer, “Magic Camera,” will kick off each film at the festival. It was made by a team of wonderfully creative and talented STL artists, including Gabe Doiron @ Gabetown, Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult @ Sleepy Kitty Arts, Erin Renée Roberts, Mike Speckhard, Sean Funcik, Ian Wasserman, Tim Gebauer @ Electropolis and Andy Paulissen. The trailer also includes music from “Cinema” by Sabina and “Ground Motion” by Kevin Bowers. We are so proud of this video. For more info, visit: http://www.cinemastlouis.org/about-festival. See you at the movies!
PRI's The World : NPR is now spinning "Imagination Voodoo" from the new album, Nova.
Last night felt like a dream. Thanks to Bob Bennett from Jazz At the Bistro for introducing us to our heroes, Herbie Hancock and Vinnie Colaiuta.
Thank you to everyone who danced and celebrated with us at the Missouri Botanical Garden. You made the evening truly special.
Thanks to the Riverfront Times and Roy Kasten for the kind words. It's an honor to be included in this list.
Thank you to everyone who made it out to our performances @ Jazz At the Bistro. It was truly a magical weekend.
Nova - One of The 10 Best St. Louis Albums of 2016 by Christian Schaeffer and the Riverfront Times.
According to Kevin Bowers...from The Huffington Post
“’Ground Motion’ is a chant song combining both Brazilian and African drumming. I am aiming for something primitive full of color and vigor for the body and soul. There is no movement without rhythm, and my intentions are to get people to move and make them feel more alive.”
"Nova is an easy to listen to collection of lounge and romantic songs with a Brazilian and Latin flavor." - World Music Central.org
"Bowers, whose skill as a drummer has placed him behind the kit in a number of rock, jazz and blues outfits around town, has made a marvel of a record with Nova, pulling from a years-long fascination with Brazilian music ranging from gentle bossa nova to psych-friendly tropicalia to blistering batucada." - Riverfront Times
“The airy bossa nova track features dueling male/female vocals which gives it a bit of “The Girl from Ipanema”-feel.” - Surviving The Golden Age
“He reaches for the sweet, slightly lush sound of Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, complete with nylon-stringed guitar, airy-voiced flute and equally airy-voiced female duet partner.” - My Spilt Milk
"The songs form a loose narrative, sweeping the listener along in a raptuous saga. Highly recommended!" - Midwest Book Review