Robert Kennedy plays jazz organ, piano, and accordion in freelance solo and group settings, and is the accordionist in the acclaimed group Mission Hot Club.
Born and raised in the American South, Robert has lived and worked in the San Francisco bay area since 1988. He played piano in the Stanford University Jazz Band and studied jazz piano with the great jazz pianist, band director, and educator Bill Bell.
Robert helped found the groups Hip Pocket Jazz Quintet and Double Funk Crunch, and has had the pleasure of playing venues such as Yoshi's, the Boom Boom Room, the Agenda Lounge (back in the day) and the SFJAZZ Miner Auditorium with renowned players such as Nancy Wright, Calvin Keys, Will Weston, Terrence Brewer, and many more, playing jazz, blues, R&B, and rock and roll.
Among his many inspirations Robert counts the playing of Jack McDuff, Billy Childs, Larry Goldings, Herbie Hancock, and Tony Monaco.
Robert Kennedy has an interesting story: by day he works for Google; by night he is an organist in the San Francisco jazz scene. Though it is not unusual for musicians to have two careers these days, as let's face it, musicians are still being paid rates from the '70s for playing music. Kennedy hails originally from the southeastern region, so by influence the rich history of jazz is in his bones. It was his time at Stanford University that ...
“Robert Kennedy’s Hammond B3 trio… plays straight-ahead music with convincing authority. It’s Kennedy’s debut album as a trio leader and he’s… in thoroughly communicative form throughout. …a really enjoyable and swinging disc that augurs well for more Kennedy trio projects.” — Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International, November, 2015
“Big shoes… [is] a wonderful collection of original compositions… Kennedy’s playing is full of excellent musical taste, and an intrinsic ability to swing… [Kennedy, Razavi, and Rhodes] groove ourageously throughout the CD… The title is Big Shoes but it could be Big Shoes and Big Ears!” — Musicscribe, emusic.com, 22 July, 2015