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), Relaxing Harp (1999) and Peaceful Harp (2004) for Compass Productions' Lifescapes series.
The Nature of Love
"The emotional grabber on this collection of popular love songs is the humble harmonica, which portrays the pathos from 'A Time for Us' (Romeo and Juliet) with raw simplicity. Luckily for us, love songs convey a wide range of emotions and loss of it makes the songs so dramatic. Bruce Kurnow plays a variety of other instruments - synth (lots of orchestral effects), piano, harp, Gu Zheng (like a koto), and chimes - with Bobby Schnitzer adding strength and charm on acoustic guitars. Each song is given its own unique setting. 'Sukiyaki,' usually overly tangy, is given a gutsy solo performance on the resonant Gu Zheng, while 'Save the Last Dance for Me' gets a snappy solo treatment on the harp. 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' is a victorious anthem, both grounded and ethereal. The melody of 'Memory' (Cats) is carried by the harp, while background surf seems to wash away the tears. The harmonica returns for 'I Swear' ... and you really believe it! I wish words were included, as each piece makes me want to head for the shower!"
Carol Wright, New Age Voice
"Kurnow goes for the heart on this collection of 11 favorite love songs. The song that grabbed me was the theme from the movie 'Romeo and Juliet:' Kurnow's sad and wistful harmonica tugged at the soul. Other heart grabbers are the jaunty 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight,' the delicate 'Wind Beneath My Wings,' and 'Memory' from the Broadway hit Cats. On the last, Kurnow plays harp backed by the ebb and flow of the surf - a perfect match for tender sensibilities."
Carol Wright, Napra ReVIEW
The Nature of Love
"Easy listening just got easier as Kurnow turns his talents toward soft instrumental arrangements of popular romantic ballads. Richard Marx's 'Right Here Waiting,' Bette Midler's 'Wind Beneath My Wings,' and the Beatles' chestnut, 'And I Love Her,' are just a few of the spooning tunes that beg to be played in front of a roaring fire. The delicate melding of piano, harp, harmonica and other instruments makes for nice background listening during cozy dinners for two or other intimate occasions. Luckily for listeners, a good love song never goes out of style, and Kurnow's recording allows us to relish the wonderful writing of some of the modern era's most ardent composers.
PJ BIROSIK, NEW AGE RETAILER
The Nature of Love
"Some all time lover's favorites grace this 11-song album. 'A Time for Us' is lush, like a movie sound track, with the murmur of strings underneath a harmonica. Kurnow's piano offers a special arrangement of the Beatles' 'And I Love Her'. A surprisingly mysterious, more lyrical 'Sukiyaki' than remembered. And a couple that recall that lonesome harmonica from The Rockford Files. Special arrangements, with skillfully improvised solos, of great loves songs."
The Book Reader