Kevin Grunill has rapidly built a fine reputation as one of the UK’s finest keyboard exponents. Such is the extent of his musicianship that he is equally at home on the modern electronic instruments as well as the more traditional pipe organ and piano. Kevin was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire in 1972 and had shown an interest in all matters of a musical nature at an early age. However, it was not until the age of twelve that he began to learn the electronic organ as his chosen instrument. At the age of sixteen, Kevin began to take an interest in the sound of the mighty theatre organ and it was a natural musical progression that he should begin to study this type of instrument, for which he developed a different playing style to that of his electronic organ performances. It was not long after this that Kevin began performing concerts throughout the country, featuring both electronic and theatre organs.
In addition to his concert appearances and providing music in strict tempo for ballroom dancing, Kevin decided to continue his musical education and studied at a performing arts college before furthering his skills at Leeds University where, in 1994, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree in music.
Since graduating from University, Kevin has performed at many of the country’s major musical venues, including The Town Hall, Ossett, The State Theatre, Kilburn, The Granada Television Studios Manchester, both The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall in London, The Playhouse Theatre, Weston-Super-Mare and the Opera House and Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. Kevin has also performed at numerous organ societies and private residences both here in this country and abroad, including the City Theatre and Tuschinski Theatre in Amsterdam.
One of the highlights in Kevin’s career came in 1997, when he was chosen to be the new resident organist at the North Pier, Blackpool. In this prestigious position, he entertained hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers in a town that has a long tradition in presenting the very best in organ music. His duties in Blackpool often saw him at the console of the famous Wurlitzer organ in the Tower Ballroom, in addition to his performances at the North Pier. Kevin remained at North Pier until 2005 and continued his duties as one of the resident organists at the Tower Ballroom for a further year, leaving the Tower in 2006.
Additional to his concert and dance appearances, one of Kevin’s other interests is Musical Theatre. Kevin has worked as Musical Director and Producer on a number of theatrical productions, ranging from “The Good Old Days” to Pantomime.
With a constant number of concert dates throughout the width and breadth of the country, plus frequent appearances on national radio and television programmes, this likeable and easy-going Yorkshireman is winning an ever-increasing number of admirers, which is reflected in the constantly rising demand for his recordings.
One of Kevin’s main interests is the history and construction of the theatre organ. Kevin is heavily involved with the 4/10 Compton that once graced Birmingham’s Paramount/Odeon Cinema. This instrument is currently installed in the Penistone Paramount in South Yorkshire, where it is used on a regular basis for film and concert events. Such is the popularity of this instrument and the shows that Kevin presents, that, in March 2001, Pennine Yorkshire Tourism awarded the Compton shows, which featured Kevin, with the prestigious ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’ award.
Not only is Kevin a highly acclaimed concert and dance artiste, who is in great demand at venues all over the country but also this young organist was awarded the ‘Special Personality of the Year’ award, which was presented to him by Pennine Yorkshire Tourism in March 2001. This coveted award was given to Kevin not only in recognition of his success at the North Pier and Tower Ballroom, Blackpool but also for the thousands of tourists that he has attracted to the Yorkshire area through his regular concert appearances.
In 2005, Kevin was asked to remove a Wurlitzer Organ from a private residence in Sutton in Ashfield. The organ had been purchased for installation in a new steam & organ museum on the outskirts of Scarborough. Having carefully removed the instrument, Kevin was asked to install the organ in its new home and his expertise and experience as an organ restorer and musician proved to be a winning combination when the first sounds of the Wurlitzer were heard in its new home. Following a substantial restoration, Kevin produced the first sounds from this instrument in 2008.
"The Scarborough Fair Collection" was opened in June 2008 and there was naturally only one choice for the appointment of Resident Organist. Kevin was delighted to be able to accept this position, which sadly came to an end at the beginning of 2011.
On Thursdays at 1.00pm, Kevin gives a performance of light popular music on the magnificent Allen 317ex Digital Theatre Organ at St Andrews Church, Penistone, near Barnsley in South Yorkshire.
Kevin will also be featured at the following festivals this year.
|Concerts in 2013|
|February 21st||Harrogate Electronic Organ & Keyboard Club|
|February 24th||Rye Wurlitzer (Friends of)|
|March 12th||Lowestoft and District Organ and Keyboard Club|
|March 18th||Hull - The Organised Music Society (TOMS)|
|March 19th||Bournemouth Electronic Organ Society|
|March 21st||Weyhill Electronic Organ Society|
|April 8th||Cheadle and District Organ Society|
|April 13th||The Penistone Paramount Cinema Organ Trust|
|May 8th||Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust - Heritage Centre (more details)|
Wednesday Lunchtime - 1-00pm - £3.50
|June 2nd||Cinema Organ Society - Midlands and Wales District|
|June 10th||Banstead Organ and Keyboard Club|
|June 24th||Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust - Stockport (more details)|
Monday Lunchtime 12-00noon for 1 hour - £1.90 - Light refreshments available
|August 7th||Watford Organ & Keyboard Club|
|August 10th||Penistone - Paramount Cinema (more details)|
Kevin Grunill and The Take Two Big Band.
|August 14th||Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust - Heritage Centre (more details)|
Wednesday Lunchtime - 1-00pm - £3.50
|August 15th||Wessex Organ World Society|
|September 8th||West of England Theatre Organ Society (more details)|
|September 13th||Bristol Hammond and Electronic Organ Society|
|September 13th||Stockport Organ & Keyboard Club (more details)|
|November 11th||Scarborough Electronic Organ Society|
|November 21st||Warsop & District Organ Society|
|December 15th||Sunderland Theatre Organ Preservation Society (more details)|
Tickets £5.00 at the door. Includes Tea/Coffee.Doors Open 2:00pm. for 2:30 Start
|Concerts in 2014|
|March 11th||Withernsea Organ Society|
|May 19th||Brentwood Organ and Keyboard Club|
|September 30th||Norwich Electronic Organ and Keyboard Club|
|November 11th||East Coast Organ Society|