Kev Choice


Kev Choice is a pianist, M.C., producer, composer, educator, band-leader, and community advocate, hailing from Oakland, CA. He started playing piano and rapping at age 11 at Oakland's Westlake Junior High and graduated high school from Oakland’s Skyline High School. He went on to study music and obtain a Bachelor's Degree from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans and a Master's Degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, both in Piano Performance.

Kev has worked and toured the world with artists such as Ms. Lauryn Hill, Michael Franti, Goapele, Too Short, Ledisi, The Coup, Zion I, DJ Quik, Dwele, and more. In 2010, he began to focus on his own music and band, Kev Choice Ensemble, He has produced 5 solo albums, including Social Distancing (2020). He has also independently released Oakland Riviera(2014), Love and Revolution(2015), 88 Steps to Eternity(2016), Social Distancing (2020), and collaboration projects with producer DJ Fresh, The Lush and Luxurious Vibes (2020), SEEDS 22: Truths & Roses (2021) with DJ Basta, and Tatu: The Trio Sessions (2021). He was commissioned to compose a work for the Oakland Symphony, Soul Restoration Suite in 2018 and In 2020 wrote a piece for San Francisco Symphony entitled “Movements.”

Outside of performing and creating, Kev was faculty and eventually co-chair of the Instrumental Music Department at Oakland School For The Arts from 2016-2022. He currently serves on and is vice-chair of the City of Oakland's Cultural Affairs Commission. He was a Culture Strategist with the City of Oakland’s CityWide Communications Department from 2022-2023. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Oakland Symphony and is a governor on the board of the SF Chapter of the Recording Academy. In 2023, he was an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching a Hip-Hop Production Lab and Analysis course as well as artist in residence at San Francisco State University Music Department. He is currently a Project Coordinator with Elevate Oakland, a music education non-profit serving Oakland Public Schools.

Kev Choice


Land, Culture, and Belonging: Place-based Community Advocacy
Public space is essential for building a culture of belonging, but creating and preserving spaces for equitable public use often requires powerful advocacy and elaborate partnerships between community coalitions, city leaders, and developers. As venues for gatherings, performances, and large events, the spaces can foster new connections, amplify voices, and share messages that advance a culture of belonging without othering. Like many similar centers, the Henry J Kaiser Center, the building that is housing our conference, struggled with insufficient funding and was closed for nearly 20 years...