Bruce Kurnow, currently residing in the San Francisco Bay area, is a multi-instrumentalist who plays keyboards, stringed harp, harmonica and the Gu Zheng (Chinese harp). He received the Minnesota Music Award in 1984, 1987 and 1988 for harmonica and in 1989 for harmonica, harp and keyboards. He is an active recording artist, musician, composer and producer and has compiled an impressive list of credits.
Bruce toured the United States and Canada and recorded three albums with the country-rock group Mason Proffit from 1971-1973. (Mason Proffit reunited in 2003 and is touring and recording again.) He performed with groups including Passage, The Doug Maynard Band and Consort and as a soloist in Minneapolis, MN from 1965-1971 and from 1973 until his recent move to the Bay Area. He is in demand as a studio musician and has played on over 125 albums with artists/groups such as Paul Shaffer, Jevetta Steele, Ann Reed, Phil Upchurch, The Steeles, Terri Nunn, Doug Maynard, Tom Prin, and Lorie Line's Pop Chamber Orchestra. Bruce toured the country with Lorie Line for seven years and was Chief Audio Engineer of her recordings Open House and The Heritage Collection, Volume II. He also formed Bruce Kurnow Productions, a recording studio and music production company located in Northern California. In 1994, he and his wife, Karole, formed the record label Switchback Studios, Inc.
As a solo recording artist, Bruce has thirty recordings to his credit. Switchback Studios, Inc. has released the following titles from the Portraits of NatureTM Series (1994) by Bruce Kurnow: Forest Reflections, Mountain Mysteries and Lake Impressions, a collection of romantic favorites called The Nature of Love (1996), Harmonicaland (1999), Pachelbel's Christmas (2001), Peaceful Piano (2002), Here and Now (2003), Holidays in Harmonicaland (2005), DreamSounds (2005) and Songs of Earth and Sky (2006). Bruce also recorded Harp: Christmas Instrumental (1998) and Relaxing Harp (1999) for Compass Productions' Lifescapes series.
The Portraits of Nature Series
"This handsome set blends the sounds of nature with Kurnow's improvisations on harp, keyboards and - a homey touch - harmonica. I was pleasantly relaxed by most of the pieces but was delightfully surprised by several up-energy pieces, accents that kept the mood from getting too dreamy. Forest Reflections will refresh you with bird songs, cheery brooks, and alpine mists. Mountain Mysteries has its birds, but also offers the strength of thunder and rock. 'Appalachian Sunrise' takes you to a back-porch jam with a Tennessee warbler, while 'Legends of the Himalayas' introduces the mysteries of Tibet. Water, wind, seagulls, flapping sails and insect swarms flavor the Lake Impressions album."
CAROL WRIGHT, NAPRA REVIEW
The Portraits of Nature Series
"Bruce clearly has a large and enthusiastic following. The music ranges from gentle, soothing cuts such as 'Alpine Mist' to the very active 'Chasing the Storm,' both on Forest Reflections. All three of these albums work very well...strongly evoking nature in many of her endless ways of presenting herself to us. The covers of all three albums are beautiful...Combined with in-store play, they should be strong sellers..."
STEVE RYALS, NEW AGE RETAILER
"Those jagged hills inspired nine original compositions which show off Kurnow's variety of experience with the harp, harmonica and electronic keyboard. Listeners will also hear seashore waves, nature's birds, rain and other environmental sounds that enliven various cuts. The mountains? A mix of Appalachia, the Himalayas, the Sierra. A special one in that last range, Yosemite's 'El Capitan', adds Kurnow's pal Bobby Schnitzer on guitar. The most free form feature crashing chords on 'Majestic Waterfall', evolving surprises on 'Snowcapped Magic' and a brooding 'Above the Peaks'. A studio full of sounds: celeste, bells, dulcimer, exotic and unknown. Refreshing and evocative."
The Book Reader