A big dark sound and a penchant for melodic inventiveness are immediately apparent when Kenny Pexton picks up his tenor sax or clarinet. “If your tone is happening, then you can play whatever notes you want and it will sound good.” These words are at the heart of Kenny’s approach to music and he stays committed to this foundation across varying styles, meters, grooves, and harmonies.
Kenny spent the past five years in Boston and during that time he played with many great musicians including Dave Holland, Don Byron, Rakalam Bob Moses, Cecil McBee, Jason Palmer, Frank Carlberg, Zaccai Curtis, Andre Hayward, Dan Tepfer, Richie Barshay, Jorge Roeder and Esperanza Spaulding. “Boston has a great music scene and I was fortunate to get the opportunity to play with and learn from many amazing and inspiring musicians.”
Kenny is also a member of the Nicholas Urie Large Ensemble, the Beantown Swing Orchestra, and has led many groups of various sizes around Boston.
Kenny’s family, friends and teachers all anticipated his choice of music as a career, but most were surprised when his focus changed from classical clarinet to jazz. Kenny was very skilled at the clarinet and it seemed to come naturally to him. “I enjoyed playing sonatas, concertos, and orchestral parts, but one day I realized that ninety percent of the CDs I bought were jazz. I had begun playing jazz in the high school big band, but it wasn’t until after I graduated that I decided to make it my focus.”