About Derek “D-day” Kendall:
Tempered in the fires of the 80’s music scene, when even seasoned oil executives bowed to the mighty record executive, Derek “D-day” Kendall brings over 36 years in the music business to the table. More than just an accomplished singer/songwriter, producer, and composer, he is an experienced performer and entertainer with proficiencies on guitar, drums & percussion, trombone, cello, keyboards, bass guitar as well as being one of the strongest and most dynamic voices ever to hit the stage.
He is a well-rounded studio musician with an unparalleled history of playing with musicians that other musicians would give body parts to play with, playing with the likes of Pat Travers, Pat Thrall, Rob Halford, Paul Gilbert, Eric Singer, Kuni, Scott Travis, Mick Brown, Mick Sweda, Fred Coury, Vinnie Moore, Beast and Greg Chaisson, to name only a few.
D-day’s experience is as diverse as it is dynamic.
He has been the lead trombone in a multiple awards winning big band on the east coast as well as the drummer in the Led Zeppelin impersonation act, “Zeppeland.”
He is recognized as one of the world’s premier singers and front men touring and performing with the east coast’s super-metal band Hooker, Milwaukee/Minneapolis’ Lillian-X, Phoenix’s Surgical Steel, the FUX, Ragdoll, and D-day. He has been romanced by industry heavy-hitters and even usurped Graham Bonnet’s throne in PolyGram Records, Inc. (Japan) Kuni.
He has literally done it all from performing around the world to touring as a national act to session work, playing everything from Black Sabbath to Duke Ellington and Sammy Nestico to Mahler.
Even before receiving his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Western University, where he graduated summa cum laude, D-day had written and recorded songs that were ‘Pick Of The Week’ 2 weeks in a row on the national Z-rock (KZRX) radio network and had every song from a recent demo market run hit the Top 10 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal charts in all age group demographics and remain there well beyond the 6 month run.
He was also voted Best Male Vocalist for his songs, ”When You’re In Love” and “Stay With Me” along with having them both grace the Top 10 Arizona list.
“I love to perform and entertain folks. Having the ability and then the opportunity to bring, even a little, enjoyment to people is a privilege as much as it is a responsibility of moral imperative scope, be it one person or one thousand.”
” I guess I started my music education before I even knew how to walk,..listening to my Mother practicing songs to whichever lead she was cast in that season.”
It was no surprise that he could play guitar, drums, and trombone as well as sing by age 13,….proficiently. His love for Rock n’ Roll was shared with the love for playing in the symphony. He worked leverage deals with school conductors so as to secure positions as a brass player for symphonic band and then percussionist with the orchestra.”
At age 16, D-day was looking down the barrel of a Juilliard scholarship as a brass player along with having become a proficient drummer/ percussionist and session guitarist as well. It was also at this time he began honing his vocal abilities. Abilities that would soon open more doors than ever imagined, … even if the opened doors didn’t have a bank vault on the other side of them. “I was happy if I had enough money so that Friday night saw hot pizza and cold beer, ..and breakfast, Saturday morning(ish) saw hot beer and cold pizza!”
In 1982, while a student at ACS, Athens, D-day was honored with the opportunity to conduct the International Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in Athens, Greece……..at the age of 19.
After moving back home to Virginia, D-day played and toured and played and toured…….and played some more.
Fronting bands was a natural act for D-day and the love of entertaining and performing live has culminated into the seasoned pro he is today.
With the list of opportunities as a vocalist growing by leaps and bounds, D-day always made a point of staying diversified, making sure to keep his other proficiencies tuned and often would even fill a guitar, drum or trombone spot.
D-day’s earlier band Ragdoll, enjoyed regular rotation airplay on the local KZRX and KDKB radio stations with the songs Faith, You Get What You Get, and Yank Me Crank Me, 3 of a 6 song EP. The EP was also featured on the KUPD local spotlight.
D-day’s songs Faith and You Get What You Get have also been ‘Pick Of The Week’ 2 weeks in a row on the national Z-rock (KZRX) radio network.
“I enjoy doing everything, in the studio myself. This assures that my guitarist will always be on time and never un-inspired because his girlfriend has more sailors in port than the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.”
D-day plays all of the instrument tracks himself, and not all midi and sequencer, either. He also handles all of the production chores, both, the audio and the video, …the photography, ……graphic arts, ..websites,…etc.
………”I’ll work on my control issues.”