Kevin Lees grew up on the vibrant Newcastle folk scene having learnt classical violin since he was seven years old. From an early age he attended his mother’s Scottish country dance classes and learned to dance as a young boy, finding a natural love for Scottish traditional music and dance. He quickly developed into a competent classical player, but remained rooted in the folk traditions of Scotland and North East England, immersing himself in the rich folk scene of Newcastle upon Tyne. With strong guidance from local musicians Kathryn Tickell and Stewart Hardy, Kevin played in youth talent band Folkestra, which led on to BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winning act Last Orders.
During successful years touring the major UK folk scene, Kevin completed a bachelor in Folk and Traditional Music at Newcastle University, whilst also establishing himself as a prominent session musician in the North East playing with bands such as King Cole, Katie Doherty Trio, Tappy Lappy Quartet and Monster Ceilidh Band.
After a 6 month university exchange trip to Odense, Denmark, Kevin embarked upon a Masters in Folk Music at Syddansk Musikkonservatorium, specialising in performance and teaching pedagogy, graduating in 2014. During this time, he immersed himself in the Danish folk scene, collaborating with various musicians and expanding his vast teaching experience, including tutoring at Folkworks Summer Schools (UK), Folkcamp (DK), Folkestra (UK) and North East Fiddle School (UK).
Now, having settled in Denmark, Kevin works as a professional musician incorporating a wide variety of performance, teaching and recording into his regular work. Current notable projects include Celtic/Nordic trio Inver, YouTube duo The Good Tune, plus two fiddle led power groups D.u.K and Fiddle 8. He continues to develop his love for teaching with local and online tuition, including his very own fiddle school platform on Patreon.
In addition to his regular tune compositions, he has in more recent years composed and recorded music for TV and film purposes, utilising his skills on the fiddle, bouzouki, melodeon and piano to create new works for audio-visual purposes. He has also become a competent studio technician, regularly working with sound production for both his own projects and others’, highlights including recording and mixing Danish trio Vesselil’s album Til Kirsten (2023), and The Biggest Danish Folk Band Ever (YouTube 2020).
In amongst his busy and varied schedule, Kevin still recognises his strong roots, regularly performing and teaching Scottish and Northumbrian fiddle, including Danish and Nordic styles, with a love for playing for dance and listeners around the world.