Kenneth Kamal Scott

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kenneth Kamal Scott
Kenneth Kamal Scott headshot.jpg
Kenneth Kamal Scott 2010
Born (1940-05-03)May 3, 1940
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Nationality American
Years active 1945–present
Known for Ballet, Opera, Musical Theatre, Vocal Technique (Bel Canto)

Etta Russell (2009 to present)

Myrna White (1964 to 1972)
Relatives Sons: Kenneth and Jonathan

Kenneth Kamal Scott is a singer, dancer and actor whose sixty-five-year career has included numerous achievements in a diverse array of genres and settings, including Broadway, jazz, pop, opera, ballet and modern dance.[1]

Scott began his performance career as a singer at age seven, and by the age of eleven began performing at the Apollo Theater as the featured vocalist for legends such as Earl "Fatha" Hines.[2] Other notable accomplishments include dancing as a member of the Alvin Ailey company in 1959, rising to the starring role of The Wiz in the Broadway company from 1975 to 1979,[3][4] scoring a hit with the song “Bolinas” as featured vocalist with Billy Cobham in 1978,[5] and appearances with the Boston Pops under John Williams. In his later career, Scott began exploring and teaching the art of Bel canto singing, including a recital at Merkin Hall at Lincoln Center in October 2004.[6] Scott is currently on faculty as a vocal instructor at the Mannes College of Music and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.[7]Also Morgan State University as Artist in Residence since August 28, 2012. Became a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity, Pi Eta chapter, on April 6, 2013.


Mr. Scott comes from a musical family.[8] His uncle, Irving Ashby, was a legendary jazz guitarist who performed with the Nat King Cole trio. His mother, Phyllis Ashby, performed as a big band vocalist, and his father, Leslie Scott, was a highly successful baritone who played Porgy in the national and international production of Porgy and Bess in 1953 and later played Jake in the 1959 film version.[9] Mr. Scott has two sons by his first wife, Myrna White: Kenneth Scott, and Jonathan Scott, who was a noted hip-hop artist under the name Dred Scott.[10] Mr. Scott is also father-in-law to Jonathan Scott’s wife, jazz singer Adriana Evans.

Broadway and theater credits[edit]

Mr. Scott has performed in numerous Broadway shows including The Wiz, Her First Roman, I'm Solomon, Hallelujah, Baby!, Hello, Dolly! and Golden Boy.[11] Of his lead role in The Wiz, the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Kamal shines. Kamal is a phenomenon...He could star in anything."[12] Kamal Mr. Scott portrayed Joseph in the debut of the play Black Nativity at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City in 1961 and later performed as the Griot in the Penumbra Theatre Company production of the same play in St. Paul Minnesota in 1999.[13]


  1. ^ Black Genius: Inspirational Portraits of America's Black Leaders, Dick Russell and Alvin F. Poussaint, New York: Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2009, 185
  2. ^ Variety, 5/13/1953
  3. ^ (Kenneth Scott's IBDB page)
  4. ^ "Kamal as the Wiz is Electrifying", Chicago Defender, 6/7/1977
  5. ^
  6. ^ Recital Program, Merkin Concert Hall, 10/31/2004
  7. ^ Peterson's College Guide for Performing Arts Majors, 2007, p288.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Leslie Scott's IMBD page,
  10. ^
  11. ^ (Kenneth Scott's IBDB page)
  12. ^ "The Wiz Returns, As Magical as Last Year," Los Angeles Times, 1976
  13. ^ "New Cast of 'Black Nativity' Strong Voiced, With Standouts," Saint Paul Pioneer Press, 12/16/1999

External links[edit]