"Kenny has always been just pure inspiration to me
Alto saxophonist, composer and bandleader Kenny Garrett has been at the forefront of the modern mainstream of jazz for more than three decades. While many are quick to note his nearly five-year association with Miles Davis from 1987 -1991, his career didn’t begin or end with Miles. Nor was his ascension a function of conservatory training, but rather his extraordinary innate ability honed in the cauldron of the Detroit jazz scene of the 1970s, albeit after the vibrant years of the prior two decades that churned out an enormous number of jazz luminaries.
Kenny Garrett's father was a carpenter who played tenor saxophone as an avocation in the family’s hometown, Detroit. Kenny got his first saxophone as an eight-year-old. He did not have the benefit of conservatory or college training, but while attending Mackenzie High School, he did have the good fortune to study and perform with Detroit trumpet legend Marcus Belgrave, who helped launch the careers of many other young Detroiters of that era (including Geri Allen, James Carter and Robert Hurst). Kenny was recruited into the Duke Ellington orchestra (under Mercer Ellington’s direction) before he had finished high school. He joined the band after graduation and stayed on the road with the band for the summer and ended up staying with them for three and a half years. Meanwhile, he added the soprano and baritone saxophones and flute to his arsenal and also was encouraged by band members to compose, a superb talent he was just discovering.
Garrett also had the opportunity to perform and record with Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, and trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw. Throughout his distinguished career, he has explored and played a variety of music including dates with Sting and hip-hop artist Q-tip. He believes it is part of musical growth to experience myriad styles from America and around the globe.
In addition to leading his own band, Kenny Garrett remains in high demand. He won a Grammy® with Chick Corea’s Five Peace Band in 2010 and his newest Mack Avenue Records release as a leader, Pushing The World Away, released in September 2013 release, follows on the Seeds from the Underground, which received 2012 Grammy® nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo categories and won the German Phono-Academy’s ECHO Award for Saxophonist of the Year. It has been nominated for a 2013 Grammy® in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category.
Kenny Garrett – alto and soprano saxophones, flute
Vernell Brown – piano
Corcoran Holt – acoustic bass
McClenty Hunter – drums
Rudy Bird – percussion
Funding for South Florida JAZZ is provided in part by a grant from the Broward County Board of County
Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Division