Kenny Drew, Jr. was born in New York City in 1958. He started music lessons at the age of four. After studying classical piano with his Aunt Marjorie, he branched out into the area of jazz music.
Kenny Jr. has performed worldwide with a comprehensive variety of musicians, including Stanley Jordan, Out of the Blue (OTB), Stanley Turrentine, Slide Hampton and the Jazz Masters, the Mingus Big Band, Steve Grossman, Yoshiaki Masuo, Sadao Watanabe, Smokey Robinson, Frank Morgan, Daniel Schnyder, and many others.
Kenny Drew Jr. was the winner of the 1990 Great American jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville FL. He has appeared as a leader at many major festivals, including the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Kyoto Jazz Festival, Savannah on Stage Festival, Clearwater Jazz Festival, and the Newark Jazz Festival.
Kenny has also performed as leader at many major jazz clubs around the country, such as Bradley's (NY), Visiones (NY), The Blue Note (NY), Blues Alley (DC), Fat Tuesday's (NY), The VIllage Gate (NY), Trumpets (NJ), The Jazz Showcase (Chicago), Twins Lounge (DC), One Step Down (DC), and the Montreal Bistro (Toronto).
He has recorded nine albums as a leader and has also made numerous recordings as a sideman.
Within the last couple of years, Kenny has performed at concerts & in clubs with: The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Faddis/Hampton/Heath Sextet, Steve Turre, Jack Walrath, David Sanchez, Jack Wilkins, Michael Mossman, Ronnie Cuber, Steve Slagle, and Marlena Shaw.
Some of the more memorable performances in 1997 included appearances with Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, and Jimmy Heath at the Montreal North Sea, and Lugano festivals and with the Mingus Big Band at the Chicago & Detroit festivals. Kenny also played with Stanley Turrentine on the SS Norway jazz cruise.
Kenny Drew, Jr. has also begun to gain a reputation as a performer of classical music. He has performed both jazz & classical music at the Barossa Music Festival in Australia in 1996 & 1997.
The classical repertoire included Bach concertos and music by African-American composers. These concerts consisted of solo piano recitals and appearances with renowned classical musicians such as violinist Jane Peters and pianist Peter Waters.
Kenny has also been playing with a classical/chamber-jazz trio led by composer/saxophonist/flautist Daniel Schnyder, with David Taylor on bass trombone. In addition to appearances at the Barossa Festival in 1997, the group has also performed concerts in Switzerland and New York.
Among Kenny's recordings with Daniel Schnyder are, the "Sonata for Soprano Saxophone & Piano" and the "Sonata for Bass Trombone & Piano" (with David Taylor). Kenny also participated in the recording of Schnyder's Third Symphony with the Basel Radio Orchestra under the direction of Hans Drewanz.