Biographie

Honored 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.”

Philadelphia is the birthplace of many great musicians, including one of the undisputed masters of the jazz piano: Kenny Barron. Kenny was born 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.

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Kenny Barron’s own recordings for Verve have earned him nine Grammy nominations beginning in 1992 with “People Time” an outstanding duet with Stan Getz followed by the Brazilian influenced “Sambao” and most recently for “Freefall” in 2002. Other Grammy nominations went to “Spirit Song”, “Night and the City” (a duet recording with Charlie Haden) and “Wanton Spirit” a trio recording with Roy Haynes and Haden. It is important to note that these three recordings each received double-Grammy nominations (for album and solo performance.) His CD, “Canta Brasil” (Universal France) linked Barron with Trio de Paz in a fest of original Brazilian jazz, and was named Critics Choice Top Ten CDs of 2003 by JazzIz Magazine. His 2004 release, Images (Universal France) was inspired by a suite originally commissioned by The Wharton Center at Michigan State University and features multi-Grammy nominated vibraphonist Stefon Harris. The long awaited trio sequel featuring Ray Drummond and Ben Riley, The Perfect Set, Live At Bradley’s, Part Two (Universal France/Sunnyside) was released October 2005.

In Spring 2008 Mr. Barron released The Traveler (Universal France), an intoxicating mix of favorite Barron tunes set to lyrics and newly penned compositions. For his first vocal based recording, Barron invited Grady Tate (who sheds his drumsticks for this special appearance), Tony award winner Ann Hampton Calloway and the young phenom Gretchen Parlato, winner of the Thelonious Monk International Competition for Jazz. On “Um Beijo”, Mr. Tate’s warm, leathery voice balanced by Mr. Barron’s poignant touch make for a beautifully textured conversation, underscoring their longtime on stage collaboration. Another Barron original, “Clouds” is a lush vehicle for Ann Hampton Calloway’s romantic pitch-perfect yearnings matched with Barron’s trademark mastery of subtlety. The dramatic “Phantoms” intertwines Parlato’s ephemeral intimacy and syncopatic rhythms in an emotional escapade between Barron’s haunting notes, the West African stylings of guitarist Lionel Loueké, drummer Francisco Mela (who also adds a Cuban flavor to the vocals) and the driving bass of Kiyoshi Kitagawa. The journey continues with the aptly named “Duet” an improvisation with Benin-born Loueké who also joins the trio for a rousing version of Barron’s “Calypso”. A composer who relishes in the moment, Barron’s modern approach is highlighted by alto saxophonist Steve Wilson’s open musings on “Illusion” and “The Traveler” who also brings an urgency to the fun-paced “Speed Trap”.

After a successful musical meeting of the minds with bassist Dave Holland, the two masters decided to collaborate on a duet project to be released on Impulse/Universal records in 2014 followed by a tour.

Barron consistently wins the jazz critics and readers polls, including Downbeat, Jazz Times and Jazziz magazines. The famed Spanish ceramist Lladro honored Mr. Barron with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater SUNY Empire State in 2013 and from Berklee College of Music in 2011. In 2009 he received the Living Legacy Award from Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame and won a MAC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. He is a six-time recipient of Best Pianist by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Whether he is playing solo, trio or quintet, Kenny Barron is recognized the world over as a master of performance and composition.

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7 June 2024

Festival ”All Stars” // New Morning

Céu / Cory Henry / James Carter
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Blue Giant en salle !

Hiromi
2 February 2024

Nduduzo Makhathini joins our Roster !

Nduduzo Makhathini
29 January 2024

Our Artists in the latest Jazz Magazine

Chris Potter / Joshua Redman / Robin McKelle / Samara Joy / Sean Mason / Wynton Marsalis
13 December 2023

Welcome Sean Mason to our roster !

Sean Mason
12 December 2023

Samara Joy on the cover of DownBeat Magazine !

Samara Joy
3 November 2023

“Continuance” Joey Alexander’s new album

Joey Alexander
25 October 2023

Christian McBride’s New Jawn NPR Tiny Desk

Christian McBride
13 October 2023

Lizz Wright shares a new music video !

Lizz Wright / Lizz Wright
6 October 2023

DeadJazz

Lionel Belmondo
8 September 2023

Hiromi at NPR’s tiny desk

Hiromi
2 September 2023

Delvon Lamarr at Jazz à la Villette 🎥

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio
31 July 2023

Our last shows of the season !

Gregory Porter / Robin McKelle / Shai Maestro / Wynton Marsalis
2 May 2023

Kenny Garrett at NPR’s tiny desk

Kenny Garrett
27 April 2023

Our Artists at Jazz in Marciac !

Brad Mehldau / Chris Potter / Gregory Porter / Lizz Wright / Lizz Wright / Robin McKelle / Samara Joy / Wynton Marsalis
3 March 2023

Nouvel album de Chris Potter : Got the Keys to the Kingdom: Live at the Village Vanguard

Chris Potter
6 February 2023

Samara Joy wins 2 GRAMMYS !!

Samara Joy
13 January 2023

Avishai Cohen et son dernier projet “Banda Iroko”

Avishai Cohen
10 November 2022

Raul Midón’s latest album “Eclectic Adventurist” !

Raul Midón
21 September 2022

We are thrilled welcome Hiromi at Loop Productions!

Hiromi
16 September 2022

Samara Joy’s New Album ! French Tour 🇫🇷

Samara Joy
14 September 2022

Starting the season with music!

Avishai Cohen / Lionel Belmondo / Non classifié(e) / Robin McKelle
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🔎 BELMONDO Quintet – Jazz à Ramatuelle 2022

Lionel Belmondo
10 August 2022

New Joey Alexander video for “Summer Rising”!

Joey Alexander
10 August 2022

🎵Avishai Cohen Trio🎷at Jazz à la Moutte 2022

Avishai Cohen
6 August 2022

Wynton Marsalis Octet at the Jazz in Marciac Festival 🎺

Wynton Marsalis
5 August 2022

Robin McKelle at the Festival Jazz Sous les Châtaigners 2022

Robin McKelle
2 August 2022

Wynton Marsalis Septet at the Jazz in Marciac Festival 🎺

Wynton Marsalis
1 August 2022

Gregory Porter at Jazz in Marciac !

Gregory Porter
29 July 2022

Avishai Cohen in concert at Jazz in Marciac

Avishai Cohen
29 July 2022

Christian Sands at Cosmo Jazz Festival

Christian Sands
27 July 2022

Herbie Hancock and Christian Sands at Jazz in Marciac

Christian Sands / Herbie Hancock
27 July 2022

Avishai Cohen at Cosmo Jazz Festival

Avishai Cohen
25 July 2022

Brad Mehldau and Ian Bostridge at Paris Jazz Festival

Brad Mehldau
23 July 2022

Kenny Garrett Quintet at Jazz à Toulon 🎷

Kenny Garret
20 July 2022

Herbie Hancock at Jazz à Sète festival✌️

Herbie Hancock
19 July 2022

CROSS CURRENTS TRIO – Jazz à Juan 2022

Chris Potter / Dave Holland
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🔥𝐻𝑒𝑟𝑏𝑖𝑒 𝐻𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑜𝑐𝑘 at the #MarseilleJazz Festival 2022 !

Herbie Hancock
19 July 2022

Belmondo Quintet at Jazz à Toulon !

Lionel Belmondo
19 July 2022

Robin McKelle at the Jazz à Sète festival 🌊

Robin McKelle
19 July 2022

Samara Joy – Nice Jazz Festival

Samara Joy
19 July 2022

Crosscurrents Trio at the festival Jazz à Junas

Chris Potter / Dave Holland
18 July 2022

HERBIE HANCOCK – Jazz à Juan 2022

Herbie Hancock
17 July 2022

JOEY ALEXANDER – Jazz à Juan 2022

Joey Alexander
17 July 2022

Avishai Cohen Trio – Nice Jazz Festival

Avishai Cohen
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Avishai Cohen Trio – Gent Jazz Festival

Avishai Cohen
16 July 2022

❀ SHAI MAESTRO – Paris Jazz Festival ❀

Shai Maestro
16 July 2022

🔥Joey Alexander at the #MarseilleJazz Festival 2022 !

Herbie Hancock / Joey Alexander
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Operation Funk, Cory Henry new album

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🎩 The elegant Christian McBride invites you to an intense moment of pure happiness at the Nice Jazz Festival

Christian McBride

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