Saturday night is usually not a time of relaxation and time with family for Mr. Kevin Keena; he usually spends his weekend evenings playing gigs in his band. In addition to being an Instructional Technology Specialist at Heritage, Keena plays drums, and taught as a band teacher for a total of sixteen years, eleven of them at our school. Since December 2006 he has played in his band, That 80’s Band, playing the drums and singing.
“They played for my song ‘Your Love’ by the Outfield for me on my birthday,” says Ms. Brittmarie Solís a Spanish teacher at Heritage.
Growing up he played rock music, his father is a drummer and has been since he was 14, and he passed his passion on to his son. Like his dad, Keena passes his love for music down to his children. Keena has taught piano, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone and sings.
The success of Keena’s band has led him to play at numerous venues including both the 2008 Republican and 2012 Republican National Convention, Heritage Homecoming and at Sports Authority Stadium. He has played in original jazz bands, concert, country and orchestra.
“I prefer bands that pay me,” he says.
He first discovered his current band from an ad on Craigslist and soon found himself juggling lots of different gigs for very classy venues.
“One of my favorite experiences was the Republican National Convention, we played there in 2008 and 2012. The venue was very exclusive. We were picked up in a limousine; we didn’t even have to set up our own equipment we just had to show up and play,” says Keena.
Between playing multiple gigs a week and having a full time job, Keena and his band rehearse approximately twice a year in addition to playing for 80-100 venues a year. He once played with Alex Grossi, a guitarist from the popular band Quiet Riot.
“We didn’t practice with him. We just figured out which songs we could both play, and we killed it,” says Keena.
His current band has a core of five people, consisting on a drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and a singer, with occasionally a second vocalist stepping in to play for larger venues.
“Music is such a uniquely human experience, and it conveys things that cannot be written or spoken,” says Keena.
All three of his children are active in learning music in their schools; his youngest even has aspirations to play the drums just like his father.by