Kye is a native of southern California and a graduate of Cal-Poly, Pomona. He held the trumpet chair in the house band on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 2006-2009 and was heard nightly on NBC. Since then, he has maintained a busy recording schedule including movie and TV soundtracks as well as CDs with major artists. He is a featured soloist on the soundtrack of Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar and Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s On The Shoulders of Giants. Other movie soundtrack work includes Selma, Jersey Boys, Skating to New York, Gangster Squad, Seven Pounds, Three to Tango, Stuart Little and Man of the Year.
Before his tenure on the Tonight Show, Kye toured with the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. This included many jazz festival appearances as well as the Wave Fest at the Greek Theatre and a night at the Hollywood Bowl with Eddie Palmieri, Donald Harrison and Joey DeFrancesco. He has also performed and recorded with the widely acclaimed Brian Setzer Orchestra. He appears on the BSO’s Grammy award winning recording of Caravan, the certified gold CD Best of the Big Band, Vavoom, and Boogie Woogie Christmas. Kye can be heard on Ray Charles’ A Romantic Evening at the McCallum Theatre, Diana Krall’s From This Moment On, Michael Bolton’s Bolton Swings Sinatra, LeAnn Rimes’ What A Wonderful World, Rodney Carrington’s Make It Christmas, Matthew Morrison’s Where It All Began and Michael Buble’s It’s Time. Jazz recordings include 1619 Broadway with Kurt Elling, Imaginacion with Bill Cunliffe, No Bounds and Home of My Heart with Chris Walden, Straight Ahead Vol. II with DMQ, and The Clifford Brown Project with Tim Hagans, Gary Smulyan, and Joe LaBarbera. As an orchestral musician Kye can be heard on Chris Walden’s Symphony No. 1: The Four Elements with the Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra.
Kye has performed live with music legends Bob Dylan, Tom Jones, Tony Bennett, Seal, Stanley Clarke, Helen Reddy, and Joe Williams. He has toured Japan with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and Europe with Brian Setzer. Other European appearances include guest artist with the HR Big Band in Frankfurt, Germany. Besides his regular spot in the house band, Kye has appeared on the Tonight Show with musical guests Seth MacFarlane, Michael Bolton, Switchfoot, Brian Setzer, Ray LaMontagne, Los Lonely Boys and Natalie Cole. Other TV appearances include Late Night with David Letterman, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Conan O’Brien Show, Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Sessions at West 54th, and The VH-1 Fashion Awards. Television soundtrack work includes Mob City, Vampire Diaries, Judging Amy, Beverly Hills 90210, and jingles for Cadillac, Nissan, Suntory and Hyundai.
Kye can be heard playing live jazz with his own group at various Los Angeles venues including The Lighthouse and Vibrato. Regular appearances as a sideman include DMQ, the Edmund Velasco Quintet, the Chris Walden Big Band, and Bill Cunliffe’s Imaginacion. He has also appeared with Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Arturo Sandoval’s all star LA big band, and the big bands of Johnny Mandel and Emil Richards. Kye’s compositions can be heard live with several of these groups and his arrangement of Kenny Barron’s Voyage was recorded by Poncho Sanchez and is available on iTunes.
As an educator, Kye has taught applied trumpet at USC and Cal-State Fullerton, Jazz Theory and Improvisation at Riverside Community College, and maintained a private teaching studio for students of all ages since 1999. His former students include members of John Mayer’s and Michael Buble’s touring bands as well as a Downbeat college award winner and a Grammy In The Schools band member. As a clinician/soloist he has worked with students and bands at the University of North Florida, University of Memphis, Mount San Antonio College, Riverside Community College, Cal-State Fullerton, and many local high schools. He has also authored several articles on jazz improvisation for the International Trumpet Guild.