Kenny Barron

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Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron Munich 2001.JPG
Kenny Barron in Munich (2001)
Background information
Born (1943-06-09) June 9, 1943 (age 72)
Philadelphia, United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, educator
Instruments Piano
Years active Late 1960s–present

Kenny Barron (born June 9, 1943, Philadelphia) is an American jazz pianist. Known for his lyrical style of playing, Barron has appeared on hundreds of recordings as both leader and sideman and is consequently considered one of the most important and influential mainstream jazz pianists since the bebop era.[1][2][3]


Kenny Barron is the younger brother of tenor saxophonist Bill Barron (1927–1989). One of his first gigs was as pianist with the Dizzy Gillespie quartet. Barron was briefly a member of the Jazztet around 1962, but did not record with them.[4]

He graduated in 1978 with a BA in Arts from Empire State College (Metropolitan Center, New York City).

He also co-led the groups Sphere and the Classical Jazz Quartet.[1]

Between 1987 and 1991, Barron recorded several albums with Stan Getz, most notably Bossas & Ballads – The Lost Sessions, Serenity, Anniversary and People Time, a 2-CD set.

He has been nominated nine times for Grammy Awards and for the American Jazz Hall of Fame. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.[5]

For over 25 years, Barron taught piano and keyboard harmony at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He now teaches at the Juilliard School of Music. His piano students have included Earl MacDonald,[6] Harry Pickens, and Aaron Parks.[7]


As leader[edit]

Year Album Personnel / Notes Label
1968 You Had Better Listen Barron-Jimmy Owens Quintet with Bennie Maupin, Chris White, Freddie Waits, Rudy Collins Atlantic Records[8]
1973 Sunset To Dawn Bob Cranshaw, Freddie Waits, Richard Landrum, Warren Smith Muse Records
1974 Peruvian Blue Ted Dunbar, David Williams, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Richard Landrum, Sonny Morgan Muse
1975 Lucifer Carlos Alomar, Bill Barron, Billy Hart, James Spaulding, Charles Sullivan, Chris White Muse
1975 In Tandem Ted Dunbar Muse
1978 Innocence Sonny Fortune, Jimmy Owens, Buster Williams, Gary King , Ben Riley, Brian Brake, Billy Hart, Rafael Cruz, produced by Joel Dorn Wolf
1980 Golden Lotus John Stubblefield, Steve Nelson Muse
1981 At the Piano Solo Xanadu Records
1982 Spiral Solo Eastwind
1983 Green Chimneys Buster Williams, Ben Riley Criss Cross Jazz
1984 1+1+1 Ron Carter, Michael Moore Black Hawk
1984 Landscape Cecil McBee, Al Foster Baystate
1985 Autumn In New York (LP) / New York Attitude (CD) Rufus Reid, Freddie Waits Uptown Records
1985 Scratch Dave Holland, Daniel Humair Enja Records
1986 What If Wallace Roney, John Stubblefield, Cecil McBee, Victor Lewis Enja
1986 Two as One Buster Williams Red Records
1988 Live At Fat Tuesdays Cecil McBee, Victor Lewis, John Stubblefield, Eddie Henderson Enja Records
1989 Rhythm-a-ning John Hicks Candid Records
1990 Invitation Ralph Moore, David Williams, Lewis Nash Criss Cross
1990 Live at Maybeck Hall Solo Concord
1990 The Only One Ray Drummond, Ben Riley Reservoir
1991 Lemuria - Seascape Ray Drummond, Ben Riley Candid
1991 Confirmation Ray Drummond, Ben Riley, Barry Harris Candid
1991 The Moment Victor Lewis, Rufus Reid Reservoir Records
1991 Quickstep John Stubblefield, Eddie Henderson, David Williams, Victor Lewis, Enja
1992 People Time Stan Getz Polygram
1993 Other Places Mino Cinelu, Bobby Hutcherson, Victor Lewis, Ralph Moore, Rufus Reid Verve Records
1993 Spiral Solo Enja
1993 Sambao Toninho Horta, Victor Lewis, Nico Assumpção, Mino Cinelu Verve
1994 Wanton Spirit Roy Haynes, Charlie Haden Verve
1996 Swamp Sally Mino Cinelu Polygram
1993 Things Unseen Eddie Henderson, John Scofield, John Stubblefield Verve
1998 Night and the City Charlie Haden Verve
2001 Freefall Regina Carter Verve
2001 Live At Bradley's Ray Drummond, Ben Riley Sunnyside
2002 Canta Brazil Trio da Paz Sunnyside
2003 Peace George Robert DIW Records
2004 Images Anne Drummond, Kimberly Thompson, Kiyoshi Kitagawa Sunnyside
2004 Super Standard Super Trio - Jay Leonhart, Al Foster Tokuma[9]
2008 The Traveler Kiyoshi Kitagawa, Francisco Mela, Steve Wilson, Lionel Loueke Sunnyside
2009 Minor Blues George Mraz, Ben Riley Venus Records
2013 Thrasher Dream Trio Ron Carter, Gerry Gibbs Whaling City Sound
2014 The Art of Conversation Dave Holland Impulse Records

As sideman[edit]

With Ron Carter

With Continuum

With Ted Curson

With Charles Davis

With Booker Ervin

With Ella Fitzgerald

With Sonny Fortune

With Stan Getz

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Roy Haynes

  • Togyu (RCA, 1975)

With Jimmy Heath

With Joe Henderson

With Ron Holloway

  • Struttin' (1995)

With Freddie Hubbard

With Bobby Hutcherson

With Jon Irabagon

  • The Observer (2009)

With Elvin Jones

With Eric Kloss

With Yusef Lateef

With James Moody

With Idris Muhammad

With Nathen Page

  • Page-Ing Nathen

With Marvin Peterson

  • Naima (1978)
  • The Angels of Atlanta (1981)

With Bud Shank

With Woody Shaw

With Sphere

  • Four for All (Verve, 1987)
  • Bird Songs (1988)

With Charles Sullivan

  • Re-Entry (1975)
  • Kamau (1995)

With Buddy Terry

With Bob Thiele Collective

  • Louis Satchmo (1991)

With Tom Varner

With Roseanna Vitro

With Tyrone Washington

With Tom Harrell

With Alex Terrier

With Virginia Mayhew


  1. ^ a b arwulf arwulf. "Allmusic biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Rizzo, Gene (5 March 2005). "Kenny Barron". 50 Greatest Jazz Piano Players of All Time. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 143. ISBN 9780634074165. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott (2001). "Kenny Barron". All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 1152. ISBN 9780879306274. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Blumenthal, Bob (2004) In The Complete Argo/Mercury Art Farmer/Benny Golson/Jazztet Sessions [CD liner notes]. p. 12. Mosaic.
  5. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Wanton Spirit". Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Kugiya, Hugo (June 15, 2010). "Jazz pianist Aaron Parks is back on the farm — the James Farm". The Seattle Times. 
  8. ^ Andrew Hamilton. "Allmusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Ken Dryden. "Super Standard - Kenny Barron Trio,Super Trio - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Ron Wynn. "Mad About Tadd - Continium - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 

External links[edit]