Kevin Dolan – Founder and Chair
Kevin Dolan founded National Sawdust, then known as Original Music Workshop, in 2010. His commitment to National Sawdust continues a lifetime of engagement with music and musical institutions. As Rick D’Avino, our President, has often remarked, Kevin is “the Andrew Carnegie for emerging artists … but without the deep pockets” Kevin believes that music is part of a person’s DNA and, for some, it’s “almost a salvation.” His bedrock principle in founding National Sawdust is “to help the musician and composer community, particularly the younger folks. If you support them, you support the art form.”
After taking piano lessons as a child, Kevin began the study of the classical organ at around age 14 and continued his study during college and graduate school years while pursuing non-music academics. Kevin has served as the organist at a variety of churches, including the St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Beverly Hills United Methodist Church in Alexandria, VA. For more than a decade, he was a volunteer organist at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in southwest Washington, DC, near the U.S. Capitol, where he funded the restoration of the church’s 1887 Roosevelt pipe organ.
In recent years, Kevin has been active as a composer under the tutelage of Kirk Nurock, former Professor at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin and currently a member of the faculty of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York. Kevin includes among his influences, Bach, Debussy, Barber, and Bill Evans.
Kevin is a former member of the board of Wintergreen Performing Arts, which presents a classical summer music program in the mountains near Charlottesville, Virginia. With other key Wintergreen board members, Kevin was responsible for moving the organization toward professional leadership by recruiting composer and conductor Larry Alan Smith, former President of the School of American Ballet and former Dean of the Hartt School, as the Executive and Artistic Director. Kevin has also provided support to select musical artists and projects over the years, including sponsorship of performances and recordings by pianist Norman Kreiger and by Kirk Nurock.
When not overseeing National Sawdust, Kevin is Of Counsel in Sherman & Sterling’s Tax Group. Prior to joining Sherman & Sterling, Kevin was Senior Vice President, Tax Policy and Product Development, for Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Before joining Merrill Lynch, Kevin was Tax Partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. He was earlier Associate Chief Counsel (Technical & International) for the IRS, and on the staffs of the Office of International Tax Counsel at the Treasury Department, the Legislation and Regulations Division of the IRS Chief Counsel’s Office, and the Division of Market Regulation at the SEC. Kevin is a co-author of a two-volume tax treatise on international transactions.