As with many artists, Calvin’s first exposure to music was in the church. The son of a minister, Calvin had many opportunities to use his talents and found early on that piano was his instrument. The predictability of traditional hymnology was a challenge for Calvin as he realized his aptitude for improvisation. In retrospect, one of his main inspirations turned out to be what many may consider humorous. On his twelfth birthday, his sister brought home that musical classic, “The Fifth of Beethoven.” There was one hitch however. It was a disco version by the 5th Dimension. It took only a week for Calvin to master but it was the beginning of a new perspective for Calvin regarding classical music. The rhythms and syncopations especially attracted Calvin. His classical training was a great foundation but he approached the pieces with energy and emotion uniquely his own.
Throughout his high school and college experience, Calvin was involved in the typical opportunities such as swing choir, stage band and musicals. Yet it was the lyrical quality of his interpretations that drew many of his friends to his playing often asking where he got his arrangements only to find they were self composed.
Attending college on a musical scholarship, Calvin continued to study composition. Oddly enough he ended his college classes with a major in economics which has proved invaluable in the development of his musical career. Calvin has started his own record company called Personal Records and managed to sign with City of Peace Records/Sony Music for distribution worldwide. The college atmosphere proved to be just what Calvin needed in the creative area. His compositional sense matured as well as the picturesque melodies that have now become his trademark.
At the age of twenty-one his first project Through High Places was released and his musical career immediately took off. Much of the success of this project is due to the thematic direction of the release. Calvin has traveled extensively throughout the West and enjoys the outdoors. This album reflects that love with musical themes written around nature’s bounty focusing primarily on the mountains. The wonders of God’s creation inspired all of the works on this release and it is his hope that the beauty in God’s creation is evident in the pieces.
On the heels of his first release, Calvin finished his second album Coming Home which features Calvin’s version of some of his favorite classics as well as newly penned compositions that are destined to be long remembered. Much of the album draws its musical inspiration from the music of Handel, Vivaldi, Albinoni, Bach and other Baroque composers. One could hear these composers played throughout the year in Calvin’s childhood home but as Christmas time they could be heard from morning till night. It is out of this experience that Coming Home draws its special warmth and melodic expression. “October” has become a hit with fans everywhere and is now performed by Calvin with orchestra.
His third release Uncharted Waters represents an adventure into the unknown, a step of faith into a place where we are not in control. Uncharted Waters spans the entire dynamic range and limitations of the piano, an acoustic tour de force picturing the great forces at work on the ocean. From the beautiful elegance of “Beside Still Water” to the thundering rhythmic groove of “Winter Port” the depth of Calvin’s compositions stir the soul that is yet living.
Calvin’s multi-instrumental release Acoustic Passion is truly a paradigm shift in Calvin’s music. Producer Jerry Marcellino (Michael Jackson, Diana Ross) and Kerry Livgren of Kansas fame (“Dust in the Wind”) take Calvin’s piano melodies to new heights. The hit song “Compassion” is now performed by Calvin with orchestra captivating fans everywhere.
His latest studio recording Paramount: The Symphony Sessions was some 10 years in the making and is the best of his work to date. Featuring the 55 piece Taurida International Symphony Orchestra in St. Petersburg, Russia, Paramount includes a wide range of soulful orchestral music in Calvin’s signature “New Classique” style. From the epic “Celtic Joy”, “Carol of the Bellz” and “Faith and Hope,” to the mesmerizing anthem of “After the Conquest,” to the soothing sounds of strings and harp on “Rachel’s Lullaby,” or the kick-up-your-heels track “Celtic Joy,” Paramount may be the release that gets stuck in your player!
Throughout his career, Calvin has kept a focused devotion to his music and the Creator that, he believes, gave him his talents in the first place.