High schoolers who conjure up dreams of musical stardom are hardly a unique occurrence, nor has it been for years. Whether it be aspirations of the being the next boy band overnight craze with thousands of pre-pubescent girls shrieking their hearts out at you, or being the lead guitarist for the next Pearl Jam and enjoying critical and commercial success, millions of teenagers in this world every day are captivated by the dream of becoming a musician to an almost extreme extent.
In some regards, Kevin Hiatt was no different during his formative teen years. Hiatt, an accomplished and learned musician whose mastery of just about everything guitar has earned him a reputation as one of the whatzup area's most intelligent, talented and versatile musicians, was similarly drawn to a dream of becoming a musician at a fairly early age.
That's about where the similarities stop, however. Instead of being consumed with visions of busting out choreographed dance routines in front of swooning teens or noodling out guitar solos in plaid shirts in front of throngs of headbangers, Hiatt's earliest musical inspirations were drawn from an entirely different and unique source.
"I was bitten by the classical guitar bug early in high school", Hiatt explains. "I really didn't have success in finding a strong teacher for something like that, so I taught myself to play. That opened a lot of things up for me. I realized I wanted to write music pretty early on, too."
From that early yearning to learn classical guitar, coupled with the desire to learn the craft of writing and composing his own music, Hiatt has continuously expanded as a musician. Hiatt is one of the musicians who is always pushing themselves, trying new things out and looking at music as a constant state of learning and educating.
"I try and be careful to not do things I can't do as a musician, whether it's in terms of songwriting or performing," Hiatt says. "But I always seem to be trying new things out and pushing myself in different directions as well."
For someone who got his start as a musician by teaching himself to play the classical guitar, Hiatt is one of the most formally trained mainstream musicians you'll come across in the area. He has earned three degrees in music composition, including a doctorate from Miami (Ohio) University he earned in the late 80s.
During and immediately after his formal musical education, Hiatt worked extensively in classical music as a performer and composer. He has written over 90 separate pieces of chamber music and performed extensively in classical settings.
He soon felt limited, however, and the other musical side of him that had found influences in artists like Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges and Preston Reed began to weigh more heavily on his vision of the future. He soon found himself writing more pop/folk style music for six-, seven- and 12-string guitars (all three of which he is proficient at playing) and pretty much inventing an entirely new musical persona and audience for himself.
Since that time, Hiatts stylings, coupled with his classical training and extensive experience in composition, have matured to the point that actually trying to categorize his unique sound becomes a tad difficult to do.
"My stuff tends to be a little more different than straight-forward folk music," he explains. "But I'm not alone; there's a whole subculture of people who do what I do musically speaking and people who seek it out as an audience."
The whatzup-area musical website fortwaynemusic.com describes Hiatt's musical stylings as American fingerstyle guitar somewhere between Fahey/Kottke and Hedges/Preston Reed guitar stylings.
Extended instrumentals, two-hand tapping, percussive attacks, wall-of-sound approach to acoustic guitar, it continues. Lyrics on vocal tunes range from neurotic confessional themes to satirically humorous. Tasty covers for bar gigs.
"What I go for in my music is something, some sort of experience that will really draw the listener in," Hiatt says. "I am in a constant state of refining the artistic product I put out there for the audience."
After bouncing around large portions of the continental U.S., working as a performer and a teacher in places like Baltimore, Hiatt returned to Fort Wayne a few years back and got right down to business. His debut album, Another Look at the Sunrise, recorded at Ozone Studios in Fort Wayne, was released about a year ago. The album of all original material from Hiatt featured a healthy balance of both vocal and instrumental pieces, and use of six-, seven- and 12-string guitars.
He is also consistently trying to make himself more of a, as he puts it, regional act, taking his act farther out to environs outside northeast Indiana. Gigs in places like Indianapolis and Muncie are increasing in frequency on his schedule, and a recent show he did in Columbus, Ohio was particularly encouraging for him.
"People sat down, were very civil, they listened intensively and clapped," he says. "And most importantly, I didn't have any request for Jimmy Buffett tunes the entire time."
"A second album is already under way as well," Hiatt says, with a projected completion date sometime in late summer. He says he has a projected total length for the album of about 50 to 60 minutes of more original material, with about 25 minutes of stuff already completed. Tentatively titled Chasing Horses, Hiatt says the album will hopefully convey an even stronger range of instrumentation than Another Look at the Sunrise did. When you counter one song he performed for the album with Joe Kalisman, a Fort Wayne Philharmonic cello player, with "Goodbye to Ranger Doug," a song he says is dedicated to Pee Wee Herman, a range of instrumentation may be a bit of an understatement.
"I am going for more variety with this album; its that simple," he says.
But even as he works to expand his presence in areas outside of northeast Indiana, Hiatt is still working to expand his presence locally as well.
"There's some talented musicians here, and I think Fort Wayne can be fertile ground for a strong musical scene," he contends. From my experiences alone, I have seen a growing, certain intelligentsia-type audience looking for this type of music, for these types of performers."
by Kevin Erb
Friday, February 24, 2017
Click on the headings below for full calendars
Click header for complete Things To Do calendar
Summerbruise w/Stay Away, Jess Thrower — Rock at Brass Rail, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., $5, 267-5303
All Fired Up — Rock at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 483-5526
Chris Worth & Company — Variety at Arena Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover, 557-1563
Classic Voice — Swing/variety at The Venice Restaurant, Fort Wayne, 7-10 p.m., no cover, (260) 482-1618
Dan Smyth Band — Variety at Mitchell's Sports Bar & Neighborhood Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., $3, (260) 387-5063
Eric Clancy and Friends — Jazz/blues at Club Soda, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 426-3442
Evan Lee Trio — Variety at Deer Park Irish Pub, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 432-8966
The Hambricks — Acoustic vairety at Nick's Martini & Wine Bar, Fort Wayne, 8:30 p.m., no cover, 482-6425
Hubie Ashcraft — Acoustic at Country Heritage Winery, Laotto, 5-8 p.m., no cover, 637-2980
Joe Stabelli — Jazz at Don Hall's Gas House, Fort Wayne, 5:45-9 p.m., no cover, 426-3411
Kat Bowser — Variety at Don Hall's Guesthouse, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 489-2524
Makayla — Variety at Duesy's Sports Bar, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 484-0411
Morning After — Rock at Dupont Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m., cover, 483-1311
Teen Rock Takeover — Variety at C2G Music Hall, Fort Wayne , 8 p.m., $3, 426-6434
Todd Harrold & Nick Bobay Duo — R&B/blues/variety at O'Sullivan's Italian Irish Pub, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover, 422-5896
West Central Quartet — PAWS fundraiser/jazz at Cottage Event Center, Roanoke, 7:30 p.m., $12, 483-3508
Big Dawg Karaoke w/Brian — Variety at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 7-11 p.m., no cover, 485-1038
Bradley Scott — DJ at Pikes Pub, Fort Wayne, 8 p.m., no cover, 478-6200
Bucca Karaoke w/Ashley — Variety at Tower Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 436-6310
Classic City Karaoke w/Bryan Lee — Karaoke at Pine Valley Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m., no cover, 490-9464
Classic City Karaoke w/Juice — Karaoke at Meteor Bar & Grill, Auburn, 9 p.m.-3 a.m., no cover, 925-6226
Dance Party w/DJ Rich — Variety at Columbia Street West, Fort Wayne, 10:30 p.m., cover, 422-5055
DJ dance party — at Rum Runners, Fort Wayne, 8:30 p.m., ,
DJ Shawn — Karaoke/variety at Club Paradise, Angola, 10 p.m., no cover, 833-7082
DJ — Variety at Piggy's Brew Pub, Angola, 10 p.m., no cover, 665-7550
Fort Wayne Karaoke — Variety at Tap Haus, New Haven, 9 p.m., no cover, 493-6622
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/Jay — Variety at Coconutz @ Crazy Pinz, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., no cover, 490-2695
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/Scott — Variety at JR's Pub, Leo, 9 p.m., no cover, 627-2500
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/TJ — at Chevvy's, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., ,
House DJ — Variety at Early Bird's Ultra Lounge, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., cover, 483-1979
House DJ — Variety at Flashback on the Landing, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., cover, 422-5292
Karaoke w/DJ Chuck — Variety at DW Bar & Grill, Churubusco, 10 p.m., no cover, 693-8172
Karaoke — Variety at Coconutz @ Crazy Pinz, Fort Wayne, 9-11 p.m., no cover, 490-2695
Karaoke — Variety at Hamilton House, Hamilton, 9 p.m., no cover, 488-3344
Karaoke — Variety at Beamer's Sports Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 625-1002
Karaoke — Karaoke at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 7-11 p.m., no cover, 485-1038
Karaoke — Variety at Crooner's Karaoke Bar, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-3 a.m., no cover, 486-1979
Shooting Star Prod. w/Barbie — Variety at Uncle Lou's Steel Mill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 436-5787
Sidecar Gary's Karaoke & DJ — Karaoke at 4 Crowns, Auburn, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., no cover, 925-9805
Sidecar Gary's Karaoke & DJ w/Kevin — Variety at Danny's Italian Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 484-4444
SureShot Karaoke w/David — Variety at The Green Frog Inn, Fort Wayne, 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m., no cover, 426-1088
Three Rivers Karaoke — at Bottle and Bottega, Fort Wayne, 8:30-10:30 p.m., no cover, 494-1020
Memphis — Fort Wayne Civic Theatre production featuring music from the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Feb. 24-25; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, Arts United Center, Fort Wayne, $17-$29, 424-5220
Picasso at the Lapin Agile — Steve Martin’s absurdist comedy involving a conversation between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Feb. 24-25 and 2 p.m Sunday, Feb. 26, USF Performing Arts Center, Fort Wayne, $10-$12, 422-4226
Stupid F*@%ing Bird — IPFW Department of Theatre’s performance of a comedic send-up of Anton Checkov’s The Seagull, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Feb. 24-25, Williams Theatre, IPFW, Fort Wayne, $5-$16, 481-6555
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet — all for One productions’ immersive-theater adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Feb. 24-25; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, PPG ArtsLab, Auer Center for Arts & Culture, Fort Wayne, $11-20, 422-4226
Click header for complete Movie times
22nd Annual Valentine’s Invitational — Works from local and national artists, Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment thru March 31 , Castle Gallery Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 426-6568
2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards — Award-winning works from northern Indiana and northwest Ohio middle and high school students, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Afros: A Celebration of African Hair by Michael July — Contemporary photography exhibit by Brooklyn author/photographer, daily thru April 14, D’Agostino Art Gallery, Indiana Tech, Fort Wayne, 399-8626
Beeswax & Baskets — Works of encaustic painting, basketry and woven sculpture from Ruth Koomler, Monday-Saturday thru Feb. 28, Orchard Gallery of Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 436-0927
Decatur Sculpture Tour — 31 original sculptures and 15 permanent exhibits on display, walking tour maps available, thru April 1, Decatur, free, 724-2605
Emily Geodesky — Contemporary photographs, Sunday-Friday thru Feb. 26 at First Presbyterian Art Gallery, First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, 426-7421
Entropy — Daniel Swartz solo exhibition explores relationship between death and mourning through combinations of mythology, mathematics, multi-dimensional physics and pop culture, Monday-Saturday thru April 1, Jennifer Ford Art, Fort Wayne, 740-1309
Fort Wayne Artist Guild February Exhibitions — Works by Darlene Selzer Miller at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Alice Siefert at Allen County Retinal Surgeons, John Kelty at Citizens Square (2nd and 3rd floors), Curtis Rose at The Einhaus Group for Women’s Health, Dick Heffelfinger at Heritage of Fort Wayne, Carolyn Stachera at Ophthalmology Consultants (Southwest), Linda Binek at Ophthalmology Consultants (North), Doni Adam at Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne, Anita Trick at ResCare Inc. Adult Day Service and Town House Retirement, Karen Harvey at Visiting Nurse Hospice and Brenda Baeumier and Randy Roberts at Will Jewelers, thru Feb. 28, fortwayneartistguild.org.
Fort Wayne, American Monologue — A new body of Fort Wayne-based works by Oakland, California-based artist Brett Armory, Tuesday-Sunday thru Feb. 26, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Generations: A View of Who Was Who — Works by Romare Bearden, Kara Walker, Alma Thomas, Jacob Lawrence and other African-American artists, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Glass: A Medium in Art and Automobiles — Dale Chihuly blown glass and fiberglass auto, daily thru Sept. 8, Auburn, $7.50-$12.50, 925-1444
IPFW Continuing Studies Professional Photography Graduate Exhibit — Photographs from 2017 graduates, Friday-Sunday thru March 5, Garrett Museum of Art, Garrett, 704-5400
Life in Full Bloom — Metal sculpture focused on a spirit of hope for women with breast cancer, Sunday-Friday thru Feb. 26 at First Presbyterian Art Gallery, First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, 426-7421
A Mary Poppins Garden Party — Child-oriented garden exhibit, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 1, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Moments in Time: Reflecting on the Human Spirit — Elizabeth Opalenik photographs from her recent Amish series A Journey Home and her Reflecting on the Edge exhibition, daily, Feb. 27-March 26 (artist reception and lecture, 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 2), Visual Arts Gallery, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 481-6709
Outdoor Sculpture Invitational — Fifteen outdoor sculptures from regional artists, daily thru April 30, School of Creative Arts campus, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Patricia Biesen: Pastels, Ink Drawing & Acrylic — Works from Chicago-based artist recently relocated to Fort Wayne, Tuesday-Sunday thru Feb. 29, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
A Peek at the Studio Creations of Doc Wiedman: Traditional Carver of Wood Since 1980 — Nearly 70 original works by Huntington-based wood artist, Monday-Friday thru Feb. 28, Balentine Gallery, Arts, Commerce & Visitors Centre, Bluffton, 824-5222
RAW. Untamed. Unashamed. Visions of Freedom. — Abstract romanticist works in acrylics and epoxy from Kristy Jahn, Fridays and Saturday-Thursday by appointment, Feb. 25-March 25 (opening reception 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25), The Gallery at Pranayoga, Fort Wayne, 423-9642
Semantic Sequences — Exhibition of letterpress prints by Stephanie Carpenter, assistant director of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, Tuesday-Sunday thru March 24, Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, 424-7195
Tim Brumbeloe Retrospective — A retrospective of local photographer’s works over the past 25 years, Monday-Friday thru March 17, Lupke Gallery, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Triangulations — Etchings and giclee prints, daily thru Feb. 28, Old Crown Coffee Roasters, Fort Wayne, 797-9821
A Winter Wonderland of Art — Works from over 20 artists including Norman Bradley, George McCullough, Austin Cartwright, Sayaka Ganz and more, Tuesday-Saturday thru Feb. 28, Crestwoods Frame Shop & Gallery, Roanoke, 672-2080
Woodcarvings by Dr. Larry Wiedman — “A peek at the studio creations of Doc Wiedman: traditional carver of wood since 1980,” Monday-Friday thru Feb. 24, Balentine Gallery, Arts Commerce & Visitors Center, Bluffton, 824-5222
Artlink Educational Programs — Art classes offered by Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, dates and times vary, Artlink, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-7195
Fort Wayne Dance Collective Workshops — Workshops and classes for movement, dance, yoga and more offered by Fort Wayne Dance Collective, dates and times vary, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-6574
IPFW Community Arts Academy— Art, dance, music and theater classes for grades pre-K through 12 offered by IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts, fees vary, 481-6977, www.ipfw.edu/caa
Sweetwater Academy of Music — Private lessons for a variety of instruments available from professional instructors, ongoing weekly lessons, Sweetwater Sound, Fort Wayne, call for pricing, 432-8176, academy.sweetwater.com
Tincture Trivia — Trivia night for teams of 4 or 6 people, 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Nick’s Martini & Wine Bar, Fort Wayne, free, 482-6425
Watercolor Instruction — Artist Tom De Somer of De Somer Fine Art Studio offers watercolor painting instruction 6:30-8:30 p.m. the first four Thursdays of each month, Indiana Wesleyan University, Fort Wayne, $144/four-week course, 805-328-8336, www.desomerart.com/classes