Kenny Barron

Oct 3-7

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Exclusively Sponsored by Marian Nunn & Tom Wendel

Honored by The National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master, Kenny Barron has an unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies and infectious rhythms. The Los Angeles Times named him “one of the top jazz pianists in the world” and Jazz Weekly calls him “The most lyrical piano player of our time.”

Kenny was born in Philadelphia in 1943 and while a teenager, started playing professionally with Mel Melvin’s orchestra. This local band also featured Barron’s brother Bill, the late tenor saxophonist. While still in high school. Kenny worked with drummer Philly Joe Jones and at age 19, he moved to New York City and freelanced with Roy Haynes, Lee Morgan and James Moody, after the tenor saxophonist heard him play at the Five Spot. Upon Moody’s recommendation Dizzy Gillespie hired Barron in 1962 without even hearing him play a note. It was in Dizzy’s band where Kenny developed an appreciation for Latin and Caribbean rhythms. After five years with Dizzy, Barron played with Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson, and Buddy Rich. The early seventies found Kenny working with Yusef Lateef who Kenny credits as a key influence in his art for improvisation. Encouraged by Lateef, to pursue a college education, Barron balanced touring with studies and earned his B.A. in Music from Empire State College, By 1973 Kenny joined the faculty at Rutgers University as professor of music. He held this tenure until 2000, mentoring many of today’s young talents including David Sanchez, Terence Blanchard and Regina Bell. In 1974 Kenny recorded his first album as a leader for the Muse label, entitled “Sunset To Dawn.” This was to be the first in over 40 recordings (and still counting!) as a leader.

Following stints with Ron Carter in the late seventies Kenny formed a trio with Buster Williams and Ben Riley which also worked alongside of Eddie Lockjaw” Davis, Eddie Harris, Sonny Stitt and Harry “Sweets” Edison. Throughout the 80’s Barron collaborated with the great tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, touring with his quartet and recording several legendary albums including “Anniversary”, “Serenity” and the Grammy nominated “People Time”. Also during the 80’s, he co-founded the quartet “Sphere,” along with Buster Williams, Ben Riley and Charlie Rouse. This band focused on the music of Thelonious Monk and original compositions inspired by him. Sphere recorded several outstanding projects for the Polygram label, among them “Four For All” and “Bird Songs.” After the death of Charlie Rouse, the band took a 15-year hiatus and reunited, replacing Rouse with alto saxophonist Gary Bartz. This reunion made its debut recording for Verve Records in 1998.


"One of the top jazz pianists in the world."

"The most lyrical piano player of our time."

Upcoming Shows

MAY 31 - JUN. 1
JazzU w. Antonio Hart
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JazzU is a fun, hands-on learning experience that brings together talented middle and high school musicians for small jazz combo instruction on a weekly basis. This year’s show features the top two performing ensembles in the JazzU program, which includes the premier group, the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars. Special guest artist, saxophonist Antonio Hart, will be leading clinics with the two groups prior to performing with them during these concerts.

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Jun 5-9
Matthew Whitaker: This show replaces the Oct. engagement of Dr. Lonnie Smith

JUNE 14 - 16
Father’s Day with The Bosman Twins
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The Bosman Twins continue to mesmerize, dazzle and exhilarate audiences and this June their three-night Father’s Day weekend run is sure to bring the dazzle. Masters of several woodwind instruments, the Emmy Award-winning duo are true ambassadors of music. Whether performing as a duo, with their quintet, or accompanying jazz greats, their renditions of jazz, R&B, funk, and gospel have gained them international notoriety.


JUN. 20
Route 66 Jazz Orchestra
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The Route 66 Jazz Orchestra is a 20-piece group dedicated to the preservation and promotion of “Big Band” jazz through performance, education, and community involvement. Founded in 1969 by Dr. Ron Stillwell as the Meramec Jazz Lab Band, Route 66 Jazz continues to act as jazz ambassadors for the community.


Other Events You Might Enjoy

SEPT 19-23

Byron Stripling

OCT 12 & 13

Joey Alexander

SEPT 30

Brunch & Brass


MISSION

Jazz St. Louis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to lead our community in advancing the uniquely American art of jazz through live performance, education and community engagement.

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