Kamau Kenyatta

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Kamau Kenyatta
Portrait of Kamau Kenyatta.jpg
Kamau Kenyatta in 2014
Background information
Born (1955-06-27) June 27, 1955 (age 63)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • record producer
  • arranger
  • film composer
  • jazz educator
InstrumentsPiano, soprano sax
Years active1972–present

Kamau Kenyatta (born June 27, 1955) is an American musician, record producer, arranger, film composer and jazz educator.[1] He is a lecturer of music at the University of California, San Diego. He was given the Barbara J. and Paul D. Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award at UCSD in May 2009.[2][3][4]

Life and career[edit]

Kenyatta was born in Detroit, Michigan.[1] In 2013, he served as associate producer and arranger for Gregory Porter's Blue Note Records debut album, Liquid Spirit.[5] In February 2014, the recording won a Grammy in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category.[5] As a long-time collaborator with Gregory Porter, he also produced the album Water,[6] which was nominated for a Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy.[7] In 2016, further releases of his productions included Gregory Porter’s Take Me to the Alley, Ed Motta's Perpetual Gateways, and Steph Johnson's Music Is Art. In February 2017, Kenyatta won a Grammy for his co-production of Take Me to the Alley in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category.[8]

As a film composer, Kenyatta and Laws worked together creating the score for Small Steps, Big Strides, a Fox network documentary detailing the history of African-American film. He also composed the soundtrack for The Dawn at My Back, an interactive memoir that won the Online Film Festival Jury Award for Short Filmmaking New Forms at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.[9][10][11] In 2015, Kenyatta scored the film Spirits of Rebellion, by director Zeinabu Irene Davis. After the international success of Liquid Spirit in 2016, he scored the Gregory Porter biopic, Don't Forget Your Music. The film was released in the UK in the fall of 2016.[3]

As an educator, Kamau has worked from 1999 to the present at UCSD.[12]

Discography[edit]

  • Destiny (2007)[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards
Year Nominated Work Artist Award Result
2017 Take Me to the Alley Gregory Porter Best Jazz Vocal Album[3][13][14] Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Miller, Cam (4 Nov 2009). "Californian: Sax man or piano man? Kenyatta is both". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 17 Aug 2017.
  2. ^ George, Varga (September 24, 2016). "Grammy winners Kamau Kenyatta and Gregory Porter share tight musical bond". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Bush, Robert (2000). "Kamau Kenyatta". San Diego Reader. San Diego Reader. Retrieved 29 Aug 2017.
  4. ^ Bush, Robert (23 Feb 2017). "Kamau Kenyatta receives 2nd Grammy!". International Academy of Jazz, San Diego (IAJSD). International Academy of Jazz, San Diego (IAJSD). Retrieved 29 Aug 2017.
  5. ^ a b Roos, Meghan (29 Jan 2014). "Kamau Kenyatta, Associate Producer of Grammy-winning Best Jazz Vocal Album". UC San Diego's Department of Music. UC San Diego; Division of Arts & Humanities. Retrieved 30 Aug 2017.
  6. ^ Nastos, Michael G. (1 Nov 2010). "Gregory Porter; Water". AllMusic, member of the RhythmOne group. AllMusic, member of the RhythmOne group. Retrieved 30 Aug 2017.
  7. ^ "Gregory Porter". Grammy.com. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  8. ^ Roos, Meghan (16 Feb 2017). "Kamau Kenyatta Wins Grammy Award". UC San Diego's Department of Music. UC San Diego; Division of Arts & Humanities. Retrieved 30 Aug 2017.
  9. ^ Everett, Morgan (2004). "2004 Sundance Film Festival". Sundance Institute. Sundance Institute. Retrieved 29 Aug 2017.
  10. ^ Everett, Morgan (2004). "The Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing". Sundance Institute. Sundance Institute. Retrieved 29 Aug 2017.
  11. ^ Kelley, Shannon (2003). "The Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing". UCLA Film & Television Archive. UCLA Film & Television Archive. Retrieved 29 Aug 2017.
  12. ^ Roos, Meghan (2014). "Adjunct Faculty". UC San Diego's Department of Music. UC San Diego; Division of Arts & Humanities. Retrieved 30 Aug 2017.
  13. ^ "Grammy Award Results for Kamau Kenyatta". The Recording Academy. Retrieved 10 Jul 2017.
  14. ^ Bush, Robert (22 Feb 2017). "Kamau's gold: San Diego musician/producer Kamau Kenyatta wins another Grammy". San Diego Reader. San Diego Reader. Retrieved 29 Aug 2017.

External links[edit]