In the middle 1960s a young boy lay on the floor of his dining room and listened to records on his family's new record player. The music of Mozart, Beethoven, The Kingston Trio, The Weavers, The Beatles, Benny Goodman, Little Richard, Aaron Copeland, Benjamin Britten, and more all intermingled and filled his head with dreams of being a musician.
Now, 30 years later, Keith Hays is still listening to records, but now those records include music he has written, performed, produced, or engineered himself. His compositions cover a wide range--from works for classical guitar and sacred choral music to avant garde electronic music and rock ballads. Hays graduated cum laude from Henderson State University where he earned a Bachelor of Music Composition. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Southern Methodist University where he earned a Master of Music Composition.
For ten years he held the position of Professor of Music at Collin County Community College where he taught classes in MIDI, Synthesis, Business of Music, Music Theory, History of Popular Music, Composition, Songwriting and Audio Engineering.
A memeber of NARAS and NSAI, Hays has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Songwriters Association and hosted seminars for Guitar Player Publications' Music Expo. In 1995 Mr. Hays organized the first CCCCD Music Industry Conference and has served as host and organizer for six years.
Besides producing independent records for artists like Jack'o'pierce, Densil Adams, Steven Mitchell, the Sutcliffes, and the Howard-White Band, Hays has engineered recordings for Down Beat Songwriting Award winners (including multiple Grammy-winner, Norah Jones), and educational projects. He has provided scores and sound design for a number of theatrical productions and won an award for his sound design work from the Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival.
In 1999, Keith released a solo album, An Anonymous Man. On the album Keith shows his talent as a singer, songwriter, producer, engineer, and instrumentalist with great results. In the summer of 2000, Keith served as producer, engineer, arranger, and performer on a solo album titled Simple Things by the up and coming singer-songwriter Daniel Bailey.
In 2001, Hays engineered a three volume set of CDs for Warner Bros of the Gudowsky Miniatures by Joseph Banowetz and Alto Chan. In the spring of 2002, a new pianist and composer, Linda Mantooth released her first album Fruit Of The Spirit produced and engineered by Keith.
Since 2002, Keith produced and engineered a five more CDs for Warner Bros. publications of classical piano pieces performed by Joseph Banowetz including projects featuring music by Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy, and Rachmaninoff.
Currently, Keith is living in Nashville, writing, producing projects in his new home studio. Having finished a solo piano album, he is working on a guitar instrumental album.
Though he spends most of his time working primarily as a composer or songwriter, his performance skills are equally impressive. Live, he shows that his musical expertise is not limited to composition and his guitar, keyboard, and vocal talents are formidable. A sincere and honest performer, Hays gives a little of himself to his audience each time he steps on stage, and each time he steps off they ask for more.