Presented by The Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival.
Honoured by The National Endowment for the Arts as a 2010 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.”
Born in Philadelphia in 1943, Kenny started playing professionally with Mel Melvin’s orchestra while still a teenager. Not long after, and while still in high school, he went on to work with drummer Philly Joe Jones before moving to New York at the age of nineteen and freelancing with the likes of Rob Haynes, Lee Morgan and James Moody. Following his stint with Moody, and at Moody’s recommendation, Barron was hired by Dizzy Gillespie, whom he played with for five years.
Kenny Barron’s long and illustrious career has seen him play alongside many outstanding musicians including Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson, Buddy Rich, Yusef Lateef, Ron Carter, Buster Williams, Ben Riley, Charlie Rouse, Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis, Eddie Harris, Sonny Stitt, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Stan Getz and Dave Holland.
His recordings have earned nine Grammy Award nominations including for his duet with Stan Getz entitled “People Time,” the Brazilian influenced “Sambao” and most recently for “Freefall” in 2002.
A consistent winner of jazz critics and readers’ polls, Mr Barron was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame and won a MAC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Whether playing solo, trio or quintet, Kenny Barron is recognized the world over as a master of performance and composition.
Kenny Barron (piano); Kiyoshi Kitagawa (bass); Johnathan Blake (drums).