Kevin Mahogany, a singer who made a great impact in the 1990s with a rich, soulful baritone sound evocative of Joe Williams and Johnny Hartman, died on Sunday, per the radio station KCUR. He was 59.
Born on July 30, 1958, in Kansas City, Mo., Mahogany lived much of his life in that city with its storied tradition of jazz and blues. He was an instrumentalist before he became a vocalist, initially playing clarinet, baritone saxophone and piano in school bands around the area. It was while attending Baker University in nearby Kansas that he turned to singing, forming a vocal choir there while majoring in Music, English and Drama. Upon returning to the Kansas City area he worked mostly in R&B bands during the late ’80s.