Kenny has lived his entire life as a devoted jazzman, his commitment recognised in 2010 when he was dubbed a Jazz Master by the National Endowment For The Arts (in the US).
Born in Philadelphia in 1943, Kenny is the younger brother of late tenor saxophonist Bill Barron who had recorded extensively with Philly Joe Jones as well as greats like Charles Mingus. He was also a noted band leader and Kenny appears on all the sessions Bill led.
Kenny's formative teenage years were the proving ground for his later achievements as a musician. As a teenager he played professionally with Mel Melvin's orchestra and also with drummer Philly Joe Jones, as his brother had.
At 19, Kenny moved to New York City as a freelancer where he was quickly noticed by saxophonist James Moody. It was upon Moody's recommendation that in 1962 trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie hired Kenny without even hearing him play a note. Serving five years under Gillespie, Kenny acquired and developed an appreciation for Latin and Caribbean, which have become staples of his own compositional work.
In the early '70s, after playing with names like Freddie Hubbard and Buddy Rich, Kenny began working with Yusef Lateef, who he credits as a key influence on his improvisational style. It was also Yusef who encouraged Kenny to pursue a tertiary education in music and he completed a BA in Music from Empire State College.
From 1973 to 2000, he served as a professor of music at Rutgers University where he has tutored some of today's talents such as David Sanchez and Regina Bell. Kenny is one of the most prolific surviving jazz pianists of his calibre in the world; since releasing his first album as band leader 'Sunset To Dawn' in 1974, he has produced upwards of 40 albums including last year's 'Book Of Intuition' with the Kenny Barron Trio.
When the Kenny Barron Trio play the Brisbane International Jazz Festival at the end of May, they join a stellar international line-up of premier jazz talent, including Ari Hoenig, Tigran Hamasyan and Emie R Roussel Trio as well as local acts such as Wild Silk Strings Project.
The Brisbane International Jazz Festival presents their 2017 programme at a selection of venues including Queensland Multicultural Centre, Jazz Musician's Institute (JMI Live) and Queensland Conservatorium Theatre where the Kenny Barron Trio will perform.
It's a rare opportunity to spend an evening with a renowned jazz master and be swept away by his elegant playing and Latin-infused rhythms.
Kenny Barron ShowsWed 31 May - Brisbane International Jazz Festival
Thu 1 Jun - The Basement (Sydney)
Sat 3 Jun - Melbourne Jazz Festival