||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010)|
October 9, 1960 |
Detroit, Michigan United States
|Genres||Jazz, post bop, jazz fusion|
|Labels||Atlantic, Warner Bros, Mack Avenue, Criss Cross Jazz|
|Associated acts||Five Peace Band, Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Art Blakey, Marcus Miller|
Kenny Garrett (born October 9, 1960) is a Grammy Award-winning American post bop jazz saxophonist and flautist who gained fame in his youth as a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and of Miles Davis's band. He has since pursued a critically acclaimed solo career. Most recently he joined a supergroup of jazz musicians, the Five Peace Band.
Kenny Garrett was born in Detroit, Michigan, on October 9, 1960; he is a 1978 graduate of Mackenzie High School. His father was a carpenter who played tenor saxophone as a hobby. Garrett's own career as a saxophonist took off when he joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1978, then led by Duke's son, Mercer Ellington. Three years later he played in the Mel Lewis Orchestra, playing the music of Thad Jones, and also the Dannie Richmond Quartet, focusing on Charles Mingus's music.
In 1984, he recorded his first album as a bandleader, Introducing Kenny Garrett, on the CrissCross label. He then recorded two albums with Atlantic Records: Prisoner of Love and African Exchange Student. Garrett signed to the Warner Bros. Records label, and beginning with Black Hope, in 1992, he has continued to record with them. Among his notable recordings on Warner Bros. are Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane, recorded in 1996, and Songbook, his first album made up entirely of his own compositions, recorded in 1997 and nominated for a Grammy Award. During his career, Garrett has performed and recorded with many jazz greats such as Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, Brian Blade, Marcus Miller, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Ron Carter, Elvin Jones, and Mulgrew Miller. Garrett's music sometimes exhibits Asian influence, an aspect which is especially prevalent in his 2006 Grammy-nominated recording, Beyond the Wall.
While Garrett is best known in many circles for the five years he spent playing with Miles Davis during Miles' electric period, he states that he has become accustomed to the association:
"I was in Miles' band for about five years. I think that tag will always be there. That is five years of my life. That's the only musical situation that I was there longer than a year. It was a good five years. I have gotten used to that. Some people became aware of me through Miles and then they would come to my concerts. I think that is part of my history and I am proud of that. I am still trying to carve out my own name and my own music. I just look at it as a part of history and it is going to be there. Every time they mention Kenny Garrett, there will probably be some association with Miles Davis, but at the same time, when they mention Herbie Hancock, they always mention Miles Davis, or Wayne Shorter. You get used to it after a while." (allaboutjazz.com)
Garrett's live album Sketches of MD: Live at the Iridium, featuring Pharoah Sanders, was released on September 23, 2008. On his website, KennyGarrett.com, he stated that his current band at the time consisted of electric bass and organ.
Garrett performed in a world tour, 2008-2009 with Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Christian McBride and Brian Blade/Vinnie Colaiuta as the "Five Peace Band". The CD "Five Peace Band - Live" won a GRAMMY Award on January 31, 2010.
On May 7, 2011, Kenny Garrett was presented an Honorary Doctorate in Music Degree from Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts. Garrett was the Commencement Speaker. There were 908 graduates - the largest graduating class in Berklee history. The commencement ceremony took place at the Agganis Arena (Boston University). Four thousand people were in attendance.
On October 15, 2012, Kenny Garrett received a Soul Train Award nomination for his 2012 studio album Seeds from the Underground in Best Traditional Jazz Artist/Group category. On December 5, 2012, two Grammy nominations for Seeds from the Underground followed in Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo categories. On December 11, 2012, Seeds From The Underground received a NAACP Image Award nomination in the Outstanding Jazz Album category. On April 5, 2013, Mack Avenue Records announced that Kenny Garrett won an Echo Award in the Saxophonist of the Year category.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (April 2012)|
As leader 
- Introducing Kenny Garrett, 1984
- 5 Paddle Wheel, 1988
- Prisoner of Love, 1989 (Atlantic)
- African Exchange Student, 1990 (Atlantic)
- Black Hope, 1992 (Warner)
- Introducing Kenny Garrett, 1994
- Threshold, 1994
- Triology, 1995
- Stars & Stripes Live, 1995
- Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane, 1996
- Songbook, 1997 (GRAMMY nomination)
- Simply Said, 1999
- Old Folks, 2001
- Birds of a Feather: A Tribute to Charlie Parker, 2001
- Happy People, 2002
- Standard of Language, 2003
- Beyond the Wall, 2006 (GRAMMY nomination)
- Sketches of MD - Live at the Iridium, 2008
- Seeds From The Underground, 2012 (2 GRAMMY nominations)
As sideman 
With Miles Davis
With Marcus Miller
With other artists (selected)
Awards & Nominations 
|1997||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance||Songbook|
|2006||Nominated||Grammy Award ||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Beyond the Wall|
|2010||Won||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Five Peace Band - Live|
|2012||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Seeds from the Underground|
|2012||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Improvised Jazz Solo||"J. Mac"|
|2012||Nominated||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Jazz Album||Seeds from the Underground|
|2012||Nominated||Soul Train Award||Best Traditional Jazz Artist/Group||Seeds from the Underground|
|2012||Nominated||Jazz Awards||Alto Saxophonist of the Year|
|2012||Won||Echo Award||Saxophonist of the Year|
Chart positions 
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (2012)||10|
- Gilbert, Mark; Kennedy, Gary (2002). "Garrett, Kenny". In Barry Kernfeld. The new Grove dictionary of jazz, vol. 2 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. pp. 16–17. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
- Skelly, Richard. "Kenny Garrett: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
- "Kenny Garrett 2006 Grammy Award Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett 2009 Grammy Award".
- "Kenny Garrett Honorary Doctorate/Commencement Speech at Berklee".
- "Kenny Garrett Soul Train Award Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett 2013 Grammy Award Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett NAACP Image Award Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett Echo Award Win".
- "Kenny Garrett 1997 Grammy Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett 2006 Grammy Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett Jazz Award Nomination".
- "Jazz Albums". Billboard.com. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
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