Born: September 20, 1971 Primary Instrument: Drums
Seán J. Kennedy is a freelance drumset and percussion artist, who freqeuntly performs at many of the top concert venues along the east coast, including recent performances at The Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall, and at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City’s famed Lincoln Center. When he is not teaching or doing freelance work he leads a critically acclaimed jazz quartet, The Sean J. Kennedy Quartet. Their new CD, Queen Anne’s Revenge, features Bob Mintzer (Yellow Jackets & Buddy Rich) and Liberty DeVitto (formerly with Billy Joel). The CD is already creating quite a buzz, jazz legend Dave Brubeck recently wrote the following about Kennedy’s newest CD, “All the guys in your group play great. Your drumming sounds like it should--it swings!”
The Seán J. Kennedy Quartet focuses on original compositions and new arrangements of time-honored standards. With Seán on drums, the group features Erin Stroup on saxophones, John Stenger on piano, and Raymond Clemens on bass.
As stated in a recent review on Jazzreview.com, Kennedy’s quartet is “creatively new, but built on solid foundations of traditional jazz.” Philly2nite.com says...These guys make other quartets look a little weak. They're tight, well-rehearsed and fun to hear.
Road to Wailea, Seán’s debut CD, has already received accolades from some of the leading jazz artists on the scene today, including Gerald Veasley, Denis DiBlasio, Peter Erskin, Eric Mintel, Mark Summer, Joe Morello, and Tommy Campbell.
Jazz saxophonist and contributor to Saxophone Journal Magazine, Tim Price, says, Seán's playing has volumes of beauty in the sound of his creativity in jazz. Even at his wildest, whacked-out moment, you'll find intensity and grace in his playing that is stunning. His music has a universal vibe that speaks to all and is in a class of its own.
Waldo the Squid of DRUM! Magazine commented on the savory temptation luring hard-core jazz enthusiasts to Kennedy’s versatile musicianship when he suggests, “There are a lot of onions on this young man’s cheesesteak…”
Likewise, Seán’s varied and impressive career received another recent boost when Tirdad Derakhshani of The Philadelphia Inquirer recommended, “…his intense and sometimes far-out live performances…” as a top pick in its Best Bets section.
The group can be heard regularly on Philadelphia radio stations WRTI-FM 90.1 FM, WLBS-FM, WRDV-FM and on Jazz 'n' Such: Carolina's Jazz 88.9 (Charlotte N.C.).
Recent performances include gigs at World Cafe Live, Chris' Jazz Cafe, The Promenade, and Allentown Symphony Hall - 'Jazz Upstairs'.
-Eric Mintel, The Eric Mintel Quartet
...got the CD and it sounds great. Love the compositions, your playing and its always great to hear Larry. Some people say you are judged by the company you keep and you keep great company. Congrats on a great project!!
-Denis DiBlasio, Jazz reedman, Jazz Studies Chairperson, Rowan University
I'm a strong believer in good chemistry, and Sean J. Kennedy's new CD Road to Wailea has a very strong chemistry. And the members (starting with Sean have just that special blend. The well composed compositions work as a vehicle to bring out the talents of ALL the musicians as a unit.
-Tommy Campbell, Drummer AzabuJuban, Tokyo, Japan
Sean J. Kennedy "Road to Wailea", SJK Music © 2004
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