ABOUT

Kerwin Young is a prolific American composer of symphonies, opera, ballet suites, orchestral fantasies, concerti, works for Chinese and other non-western instruments; introducing fresh repertoire, new rhythms, and unconventional instrumentation to the classical music canon.




Each new work composed by Kerwin Young, in some form, highlights an indigenous culture, celebrates a forgotten hero, or is inspired by current events. Kerwin is the creator of a unique system of music composition he call Geometric Khemistry, and is laden with personalized scales, chord structures, tone rows, symmetrical patterns, mysticism, and non-western rhythms. His unique sound is also fused with much self-borrowing. His penchant for larger than life orchestral works with lush orchestration has been mentioned in tandem with the greats. 




Kerwin's most audacious work - a classic work of high art - is his near three-hour Kasuf Tetralogy that includes Escape from the Evil Empire, and Symphonies 1,2, and 4. Lush orchestration, big brass, lots of percussion, a mass choir, and unconventional instruments add dramatic excitement to this epic tale. 




Other orchestral works as Season of Autocracy, Bolivar, Dumas-Pushkin Suite, Gardener and the Tyrant, Chasing El Diablo, and Symphony No. 6 (The Plagiarist) exhibit Kerwin's genius for story-telling, and his mastery at orchestration.




Young is also a media composer, having begun in 1994, for the debut season of New York Undercover


His first assignment as a film composer was Tar, the 1997 directorial debut of Goetz Grossman.


Since 2014, Kerwin is the composer of the KCPT weekly news series Ruckus. Since the late 1980's, Young has also composed and produced original songs for feature films as Do the Right Thing (1989), Green Card (1990), Sister Act 2 (1992), Streetfighter (1994), Dirty Grandpa (2016), and American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J. Simpson (2016).




Kerwin Young studied music composition with reknowned composers Chen Yi and Zhou Long, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. There, he also studied jazz big-band and small ensemble writing, conducting, and harmony with Jazz Messenger legend, Bobby Watson. Kerwin holds a BM (2012) and an MM (2015) from UMKC.




His works have been performed by Music From China, Kansas City Symphony, Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, University City Symphony, Jeffrey Kail (Principal Contrabass - KC Symphony), Jeff Nelsen (French Horn - Canadian Brass), Tami Lee Hughes, and countless others.




And if you didn't know, this is the same Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Kerwin Young who began his career as a member of Public Enemy's infamous production team, the Bomb Squad.  Kerwin has produced iconic rap artists Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Mobb Deep, Eric B. & Rakim, 2 Live Crew, others. He has also produced and arranged for iconic pop artists Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Gamble & Huff, Roy Haynes, the James Brown Band, Bobby Brown, and many more. 


Kerwin's IMDB

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