Kenny Barron

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About Kenny Barron

After establishing himself as one of post-bop’s most erudite, reliable, and versatile sidemen during the 1960s and 1970s, pianist Kenny Barron finally began to assert himself as a leader during the next decade and has remained a model of grace, exploration, and tradition of mainstream jazz ever since. Born in Philadelphia in 1943 (16 years behind his saxophone-playing brother, Bill), he became a fixture on the scene from 1961, adapting to the demands of veterans like trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie—his first employer—and post-bop saxophonists like Booker Ervin, Yusef Lateef, and Joe Henderson. From the beginning, Barron has deftly internalized hard-bop fundamentals while retaining a sense of curiosity, a practice that blossomed after extended stints with Stan Getz and as co-leader of the Thelonious Monk repertory quartet Sphere. Barron has complemented his harmonically sophisticated, effortlessly swinging brand of small-group jazz with regular excursions into bossa nova jazz projects. Between 1974 and 2000 he served as a music professor at Rutgers University. He continues to perform and record with the poise and elegance of a veteran but the wonder of a young lion.

Philadelphia, PA, United States
June 9, 1943
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