About Cheryl Keyes of Keycan Records 

Cheryl Keyes is distinguished through her versatility in music production services as well as songwriting, composing, arranging, and performing in various styles. Additionally, she is recognized for having a unique voice. In quoting Jerry Moss, co-founder of A&M Records, “Keyes has a style all her own.” With more than 50 years of experience creating quality music, she is the top choice when you need music for film, advertising, television, and advertising.

Early Years

Her musical journey started in the rich musical heritage of Louisiana. Exposed to blues, gospel, jazz, zydeco, soul, rhythm and blues, funk, and classical music, in addition to a healthy sonic dose of Mahalia Jackson, Nancy Wilson, Aretha Franklin, and Sarah Vaughan, Keyes learned piano at 7 and the flute at 11. She then took an interest in music production, such as arranging and composing, with influence by Michel Legrand, Lalo Schifrin, and Quincy Jones. Accordingly, she wrote her first band arrangement at 13.
Cheryl Keyes Singing
Cheryl keyes

Music Education, Collaborations, and More

Keyes entered the Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans on a music scholarship upon graduating from Southern University Laboratory High School. During these years, she performed on the local scene with jazz clarinetist Alvin Batiste and appeared on flute and piano with Clark Terry and his All-Girl All-Star Invitational Band at the Wichita (Kansas) Jazz Festival. Working with such influential musicians has enabled Keyes to culminate her New Orleans years with two LPs under her belt. This includes The Other Side of Eddie Bo, in which she was featured on flute, piano, as a composer-arranger alongside the legendary rhythm and blues singer-piano player Eddie Bo—plus, as a keyboardist on Alvin Batiste’s LP Musique d’Afrique Nouvelle Orleans.

With the goal to explore other passions, she attended graduate school at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she studied music production services and ethnomusicology.

Teaching Career, Creating Songs, and More

Following the accomplishments from her recording label, Keyes took off time to raise her children and continued her teaching career at UCLA, while also performing on the local circuit in LA. During the time her husband was preparing for a film role in a disco-laden romance-horror comedy, she was inspired to create two songs—”Hollywood Vine” and “Want You”—in which she composed, arranged, and performed vocals and backgrounds.