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Who is KEVIN SO ?


Kevin So NOLENSVILLE Promo 2016


Since graduating from Boston Latin School in 1989, and in over 25 years of performing his music around the USA, Kevin So is a Chinese American musician who has earned the respect of fellow musicians (Keb' Mo', Amos Lee, Melody Gardot, Simon Lynge), won over members of press (the late editor-in-chief Timothy White/Billboard Magazine, Steve Morse/Boston Globe) and radio (John Platt-WFUV, New York, Rich Warren-WFMT, Chicago), and has built a loyal fan base around the world.

Kevin So Promo Picture 2013Kevin So New York effect

Kevin So and Amos Lee, Rockwood Music Hall, NYC circa 2007

[Amos Lee and Kevin So, Rockwood Music Hall, NYC circa 2007]

Born and raised in Boston, So channeled his early passion for singing into the start of a music career with his 1990 appearance on the nationally broadcast Fox TV show Big Break hosted by Natalie Cole.

1980Kevin So First Public Performance 1980Kevin So Talent Show 19881988Kevin So Fashion Talent Show Boston Latin School 1988 1988 Kevin So Show Choir 1988 Boston Latin School1988



In 1994, So toured the country in a cover band that would later see some of its members moving on to Britney Spears' and Justin Timberlake's bands.

Kevin So in XPO circa 1994 

[Kevin So, pictured on the right, with XPO, Providence, RI circa 1994]

It was during that period when Kevin spent a considerable amount of time listening to the early recordings of Bob Dylan.  By 1995, So quit the cover band and became a regular on the open-mike folk scene in Cambridge, MA.  His strong musicianship caught the attention of Boston Globe critic Steve Morse who wrote that Kevin was "riveting… a smooth, impeccable guitarist." The following year 1996, at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, an Austin Chronicle's music writer took notice, writing that So was "the big discovery."  The 1997 release of Individual was accompanied by a sold-out performance at Club Passim and hundreds of shows to follow througout 1998, including a historic concert recorded live, again at Passim, and released as Along The Way.

Kevin So Individual (1997)  Kevin So Along The WayKevin So Somerville 2003


So moved to Chicago in the fall of 1999, booked his own gigs, performing shows in the Midwest and elsewhere.  Busking with Mary Lou Lord in Austin, TX the following year at the 2000 SXSW Festival, Kevin was "discovered" by head of The Agency Group, Steve Martin.  Subsequently, he opened for Joe Cocker, Billy Bragg, Randy Newman and Robben Ford. That year was documented in what some folks call the "Asian American Don't Look Back" - a documentary aptly titled HAVE YOU HEARD OF KEVIN SO? (Frank Floyd Films).

Kevin So Billy Bragg

[Kevin So and Billy Bragg backstage at TLA, Philadelphia October 2000]


Following the sudden passing of his father on August 10, 2000, So moved back to Boston in 2001, began work on his next album and continued to tour extensively throughout the US. The day after September 11th, Kevin connected with Grammy-award winning bluesman Keb' Mo' and co-wrote "Talk" which Keb' would eventually record (Peace... Back By Popular Demand, Sony/Okeh).

Kevin So Streets of Chinatown New YorkKevin So and Keb' Mo' in Los Angeles 9/12/01

[Kevin So hanging out in Chinatown, New York, and with Keb' Mo' in Santa Monica, CA September 12, 2001]


What was Kevin So’s artistic reaction to his father's death, 9/11, and the loss of his best friend soon after?

The double-disc, 32 track Leaving The Lights On was released in May 2003 and appeared to an avalanche of praise around the world that year.  Six months later, Kevin moved to Brooklyn, New York.

Kevin So Leaving The Lights On Victor Woo EP

Kevin So Union Square New York APA Heritage Festival 2002

[Kevin So at the Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival in Union Square, New York City May 2002]

With 3 other CDs under his belt, The So Must Go On (2005), The Brooklyn Sessions EP (2006), and A Brighter Day (2007), So continued to tour the country at a vigorous clip, changing gears slightly, fronting a band while on electric piano mostly, and hiring some of the most sought after musicians across the United States: Dave Luther of Meatloaf, renown bassist Kona Khasu, and Dan Weiner from the cast of Stomp

Kevin So & Midnight Snack B.B. Kings New York City

In August 2007, Kevin was proud recipient of the New York Fringe Festival Award (Best Music & Lyrics) for “Great Wall” – a musical based on his life and times.

Kevin So Victor Woo Original Cast New York 2005

[Kevin So, pictured left, with the original cast of Great Wall in New York City April 2005]

So relocated to Nashville in June 2009.

Kevin would soon after reconnect with folk music producer Steve Rapson and release 2 widely acclaimed solo acoustic efforts Best Foot Forward (2009) and LiFe Solo AKouStic (2010), going back to his folk/blues roots and performing over 200 shows around the world. His YouTube featured "AKouStic Journey" began on October 10, 2010 ("10/10/10") and concluded on April 16, 2011 on the nationally syndicated radio show Folkstage hosted by renown DJ Rich Warren.

Two months later, Kevin was hired as multi-instrumentalist in the KEB MO BAND and toured internationally with them from July 2011 til September 2012.

Keb Mo and Kevin So B.B. Kings backstage, New York City Kevin So playing keyboards in Keb Mo Band at B.B. Kings, NYC  

In 2013, Kevin resumed work on his next studio album. Through a 2014 Kickstarter campaign and over 140 backers, he successfully completed COUNTRYSIDE (2015) - his first official Alt-Country/Americana album.


Willie Nelson says "Great words" upon hearing the lead single "June Carter Cash."

Keb' Mo' calls it "Brilliant… This album has big legs."

Kevin toured extensively around the US in support of the highly acclaimed album. He was also invited to perform in Germany, Prague and France in 2015 and 2016, and continued performing at several renown venues, including LA's Wiltern Theatre, as well as festivals and house concerts throughout the country.

Kevin So Uncle Calvin's Dallas 2016



“S.O.U.L.” is his most recent album. It is an acronym for “Speaking of Universal Language,” as music is the one language that connects people of all generations and backgrounds. “This album is about love, loss, and reconciliation,” So said during a reflective interview on his latest venture and his experiences that have led him to this point. Kevin describes this album as the bookend to his previous release, “Countryside.” So recorded that after he’d lived in Nashville for 5 years and had immersed himself in the vast songwriter community. “Countryside explored the first four years of my apprenticeship, if you will, in Nashville,” So said. “S.O.U.L. goes into the next four, with more of an R&B flavor.”


Kevin So SOUL album cover Kevin So SOUL album cover back


So’s musical career over the past three decades cannot be put into a neat category. It runs the gamut from pop to folk, R&B to country, Broadway to blues in a unique multi-genre mix that is heartfelt and passionate. Add to that some politically charged songs and reflections on his being first-generation Chinese-American, and you have a deeply personal experience that connects with audiences all around the world.

Kevin was recently invited for the 2nd consecutive year to speak and perform at Bunker Hill Community College this past April 2021. He’s been invited to numerous other colleges, including Harvard, NYU, Columbia, MIT, Boston University, Fordham, Swarthmore, Babson College, UPenn, Brown University, Rutgers, Brandeis, Boston College, and Loyola Marymount University.



Kevin resides in Massachusetts and is now booking shows for 2023 and 2024. He was on tour, as a multi-instrumentalist (keyboards, harmonica, acoustic guitar) with renown bluesman Keb' Mo' throughout 2021 and 2022. He is currently working on his next album, tentatively titled "Teresa" - an interpretation and musical exploration of the songs of Teresa Teng 鄧麗君.

Kevin So Keb Mo Band 2021

Kevin So Keb Mo Band 2021

Kevin So Keb Mo Band Bow 2021

Keb' Mo' concert photos: Amiee Stubbs

Kevin So Keb' Mo' SFJazz San Francisco April 2022

Kevin So Keb' Mo' 2022

Kevin So Colden Auditorium 2022

Kevin So New York Brooklyn 2016


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