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Kenny Drew, Jr.

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.

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Highly Opinionated

What the F**k Happened to Black Popular Music?

Read "What the F**k Happened to Black Popular Music?" reviewed by Kenny Drew Jr.

I've decided to add this section to my website as a vehicle to express my views on various topics, musical and otherwise, that have been on my mind lately. You may wonder why I'm talking about popular music in this first installment, since I am generally thought of as a “jazz" musician. However, anyone who knows me knows that my tastes in music are very eclectic (as are those of most jazz musicians, quiet as it's kept). In fact when ...

Album Review

Kenny Drew Jr. Trio: Remembrance

Read "Remembrance" reviewed by Ben Ohmart

Let’s amble back to the simple but productive days of piano jazz before every niche of playing style created a new genre, before the words genius and nuance were overused to the point of covetousness. To hear Kenny at the head of tracks like ‘Song for Manfredo’ by Lili Fest renews my roving eye back to instrumental jazz. Experimental stuff is fine, but there’s a reason mainstream is called what it is. It speaks clearly, concisely, and it is never ...

Album Review

Kenny Drew Jr.: This One's For Bill

Read "This One's For Bill" reviewed by AAJ Staff

It is not difficult to measure how much influence the late Bill Evans has exerted over the young pianists of today. The impact of his playing can be heard, in varying degrees, in virtually every pianist that followed him. That's because he changed the way piano players approach the instrument, moving away from a strict bebop vocabulary, and bringing to fore the piano's inherent orchestral abilities through dense harmonies and sweeping melodic lines. Evans employed an introspective approach, gracefully caressing ...

Album Review

Kenny Drew Jr. Sextet: Crystal River

Read "Crystal River" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

On “Crystal River” the gifted Pianist Kenny Drew Jr. performs lavishly and shows maturity as a composer and stylist. Drew and his Sextet bridge the gap between West Coast cool and East Coast bravado while effectively performing in the vein of classic Jazz Messengers or early 1960’s Lee Morgan yet the feel is modern and fresh. On Drew Jr.’s “Confrontation” the Sextet display a big sound that is crisp, clean and spirited. This piece grabs you from the onset with ...

Album Review

Kenny Drew Jr.: Passionata

Read "Passionata" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Beautiful music, beautifully recorded and played. Pianist Kenny Drew Jr.'s love for and debt to his late father are apparent with almost every note he plays on Passionata, the title selection of which was drawn from a sketchy outline that young Kenny found in his father's desk after Drew Sr. passed away in 1993. This is basically Kenny's trio augmented on four tracks ("Dark Beauty," “Serenity," “Evening in the Park," the reprise of “Passionata" that closes the session) by a ...

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Video / DVD

Kenny Drew Jr. v. Dad

Kenny Drew Jr. v. Dad

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Little is known about Kenny Drew Jr., one of jazz's finest pianists in the post-1960s era. Drew Jr. was the son of Kenny Drew, a superb bebop pianist who recorded with Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins and Miles Davis, among others. He also was on John Coltrane's Blue Trane, Sonny Rollins's Tour de Force and Jackie McLean's Jackie's Bag, to name just a few great albums. He moved to Paris in 1961 and then to Copenhagen in 1964, dying ...



Kenny Drew Jr. (1958-2014)

Kenny Drew Jr. (1958-2014)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Kenny Drew Jr., son of hard bop pianist Kenny Drew and an impeccable jazz pianist in his own right who could play with dashing swing, breathtaking control and lush romanticism, died on August 3. He was 56. Drew, whose very name placed him in the shadow of his father and who died one day before his father passed away in August 1993, focused initially on classical and then pop before he began recording jazz in the late 1980s. Sitting at ...

Performance / Tour

Kenny Drew Jr. At Venice Fl Art Center October 19

Kenny Drew Jr. At Venice Fl Art Center October 19

Source: Don Mopsick

Internationally-known jazz pianist Kenny Drew Jr. will appear with Bruce Wallace and Tom Carabasi at the Venice Art Center Friday, October 19th from 2 to 4 PM in a concert presented by the South County Jazz Club. Drew, who is equally at home in the jazz and classical realms, is known for his hard-swinging bluesy sound and larger, two-handed rooty chords contrasting with fast runs. After winning the Great American Jazz Competition in Jacksonville, Florida in 1990, he played and ...



Chamber Music Society of New York Presents Chopin, Schumann, and Beyond by Kenny Drew, Jr. on March 24th

Chamber Music Society of New York Presents Chopin, Schumann, and Beyond by Kenny Drew, Jr. on March 24th

Source: Michael Ricci

Ever thought you would hear Chopin, Schumann, and Jazz all in the same sentence? Come celebrate Chopin and Schumann's 200th anniversaries with jazz pianist Kenny Drew, Jr. in a rare New York City appearance at the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York. Drew Jr. will perform pieces by Chopin, Schumann, as well as his own Variations on a Theme of Schumann. Playing a mix of jazz and classical styles, Drew is sure to impress all who attend. Meet the ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


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