By Lisa Morgan
There are few women on stage that can capture your attention like Kymm Galvan. Visually striking, this tall, statuesque red head has the ability to command a stage and deliver 70’s and 80’s rock and roll unlike any other among our deep well of talented local musicians. “I’ve always thought Kymm was the most talented female singer in the valley. I absolutely love her work!” says Brad Mercer, Lifetime Achievement Award winner for Best Rock DJ of 2012. To say her vocal prowess delivers an ear tickling blend of Cher, Chrissie Hynde and Patty Smyth would be accurate, but it would also take away from how unique her voice truly is by its own right. Her love for music is naturally conveyed through her virtual encyclopedia-like arsenal of songs as well as through her passionate performances.
It was her mother who first discovered Kymm’s natural musical talent, and by the age of four, Kymm was competing in city wide talent shows singing “Delta Dawn”. Growing up with a very comprehensive music education, Kymm further developed her vocal skill and her ability to sight read. She was surrounded with a panorama of her family’s musical tastes influencing her, from artists of the Grand Old Opry to Tom Jones and Jerry Lee Lewis. But Kymm’s first real fire for rock and roll was sparked by the rock group Kiss, and was completely lit on fire by the song “Ball Room Blitz”.
Kymm moved to Hollywood to live with her 25 year old brother at the tender age of 15 in hopes of becoming the next “Pat Benatar”. Life took its turns and brought her to the Coachella Valley in 1992. In 2008, tragedy struck hard leaving her grieving over the back to back deaths of her brother and mother. She turned her focus to music in desperation then and found sanity, strength and comfort; a survival skill she uses to this day. “My brother died in April, my mom died in October. Music has saved me. I just would not have survived without it.”
According to David Ross of Ross Management and Productions, “Kymm is a pleasure to watch; as talented as she is tall! She is also a talented actress. I had the pleasure of working with her when she played the waitress in Brad Mercer’s CSI Palm Springs.” A woman of many talents, Kymm has a vast background in our local community theatre as a performer, makeup artist and costume and production designer. She has received six nominations for Best Theatrical Makeup, three nominations for Best Costume Design, as well as the nomination for Best Supporting Actress for a role in one of the 13 date festival pageants she’s participated in. She was recently asked to work in costume design for the local production of Rock of Ages and as much as she wanted to do it, she had to turn it down. After all, the girl has her priorities; she had a gig.
Kymm speaks proudly and defensively in regard to our local music scene: “We have a really tight musical underground network here” she shared. “We’re all interchangeable and there are no egos involved. We do this because we love it. We all support each other and look out for each other.”
“There are a ton of great bands here in the desert, which brings me to my soap box,” she warns. “It’s great that we have so many small venues that support our local music scene. But it would be really nice if the casinos would do a weekly local band night. I think it’s absolutely disgusting that they book bands from LA all the time when there’s so much talent right here. I think it’s important that they support local music and they don’t. I think that stinks.” As she speaks, it’s obvious that Kymm’s indignation is not centered on getting bookings for herself at the casinos; it’s as much about her family of local musicians being given those work opportunities.
Performing in two popular, working bands; Two Twelve and Alyce Bowie, Kymm Galvan has fronted for several of the deserts most talented musicians, all of which, due to their tremendous respect for her as an artist and person, have become very much like a circle of protective and supportive brothers. Perhaps their relationship has also been nurtured by the fact that she’s makes sure to feed them at rehearsals. While her hospitality skills are obviously working for her, she confesses that her living room is far from traditional. “My living room is set up as a rehearsal/recording studio with guitars, instruments and sound equipment” proving that what is central in her home is central in her heart.
Personal trauma has proven to only deepen her connection to music and her ability to deliver it. This will be especially evidenced in new original music that is currently in the works. Keep your eyes on this artist as this seems to be the season where this red rose will truly come into full bloom watered by her love for music, pruned by adversity and nurtured by those who have witnessed and support her talent and her strength.
Kymm will be performing with Mark Gregg at BB’s Annual New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party at Esmeralda Resort December 31st at 9:00 pm. You can follow Kymm with Alyce Bowie and Two Twelve on Facebook. For booking call Two Twelve at 760-321-0212 and Alyce Bowie at 760-404-7705.