|Born||October 9, 1960|
Detroit, Michigan, United States
|Genres||Jazz, post-bop, jazz fusion|
|Instruments||Alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute|
|Labels||Atlantic Jazz, Warner Bros, Mack Avenue, Criss Cross Jazz|
Kenny Garrett (born October 9, 1960) is an American post-bop jazz musician and composer who gained recognition in his youth as a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and for his time with Miles Davis's band. His primary instruments are alto and soprano saxophone and flute. Since 1985, he has pursued a solo career.
Kenny Garrett was born in Detroit, Michigan, on October 9, 1960. 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, under the leadership of Mercer Ellington, in 1978. Garrett also played and recorded with Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, and Woody Shaw before developing his career as a leader.
In 1984, Garrett recorded his first album as a bandleader, Introducing Kenny Garrett, on the CrissCross label. In the year, he became the founding member of Out of the Blue which was produced by Blue Note Records. In 1986, Garrett became a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers.
He signed to the Warner Bros. Records label, and beginning with Black Hope, in 1992, he recorded eight albums for them. Garrett's music sometimes exhibits Asian influences, an aspect which is especially prevalent in his 2006 Grammy-nominated recording Beyond the Wall.
In 2012, Garrett received a Soul Train Award nomination for his 2012 studio album Seeds from the Underground in the Best Traditional Jazz Artist/Group category. Also in 2012, Grammy nominations for Seeds from the Underground followed in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo categories, and Seeds From The Underground received a NAACP Image Award nomination in the Outstanding Jazz Album category. In 2013, Garrett won an Echo Award in the Saxophonist of the Year category.
- 2011: Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music, Commencement Speaker.
- 2023: NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship
Garrett was described as "The most important alto saxophonist of his generation" by the Washington City Paper and "One of the most admired alto saxophonists in jazz after Charlie Parker" by The New York Times.
As leader or co-leader
- Introducing Kenny Garrett (Criss Cross, 1985) - recorded in 1984
- Garrett 5 (Paddle Wheel, 1989) - recorded in 1988
- Prisoner of Love (Atlantic, 1989)
- African Exchange Student (Atlantic, 1990)
- Black Hope (Warner Bros., 1992)
- Triology (Warner Bros., 1995)
- Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane (Warner Bros., 1996)
- Songbook (Warner Bros., 1997)
- Simply Said (Warner Bros., 1999)
- Happy People (Warner Bros., 2002)
- Standard of Language (Warner Bros., 2003)
- Beyond the Wall (Nonesuch, 2006)
- Sketches of MD: Live at the Iridium (Mack Avenue, 2008) – live
- Seeds from the Underground (Mack Avenue, 2012)
- Pushing the World Away (Mack Avenue, 2013)
- Do Your Dance! (Mack Avenue, 2016)
- Sounds from the Ancestors (Mack Avenue, 2021)
- Old Folks (West Wind, 1999) with John Scofield, Michael Brecker and David Friesen
- Casino Lights '99 (Warner Bros., 2000) – live at Montreux Jazz Festival
- V.A., Relief: A Benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America's Musicians' Emergency Fund (Mack Avenue, 2021)
As a member
- Out of the Blue (Blue Note, 1985) with Michael Philip Mossman, Ralph Bowen, Harry Pickens, Robert Hurst and Ralph Peterson, Jr.
- Inside Track (Blue Note, 1986) with the same musicians
- Live at Mt. Fuji (Blue Note, 1987) with Michael Philip, Mossman Ralph Bowen, Harry Pickens, Ralph Peterson, Jr. and Kenny Davis – live recorded in Mount Fuji Jazz Festival 1986 at Lake Yamanaka
- Dreamboat (Timeless, 1990) with Roy Hargrove, Donald Brown, Ira Coleman, Carl Allen – recorded in 1989
General Music Project (G. M. Project)
Co-leader with Charnett Moffett
- General Music Project (Evidence, 1997) with Charles Moffett and Geri Allen
- Blacker (Sweet Basil, 1997) with Charles Moffett and Cyrus Chestnut
- General Music Project II (Evidence, 1998) with the same musicians
- Mr. J.P. (VideoArts, 2001) with Louis Hayes and Carlos McKinney
With Donald Byrd
With Chick Corea
- Remembering Bud Powell (Stretch, 1997) – Grammy nominated
- Five Peace Band Live with John McLaughlin (Concord, 2009)[2CD] – Grammy won
- The Musician (Concord Jazz, 2017)[3CD]
With Miles Davis
- 1988-89 Amandla (Warner Bros., 1989)
- 1990 Dingo (Warner Bros., 1991)
- 1988–91 Live Around the World (Warner Bros., 1996) - live
- 1991 Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux (Warner Bros., 1993)
- 1991 Merci Miles! Live at Vienne (Warner, 2021)
With Roy Haynes
- Praise (Dreyfus Jazz, 1998)
- Birds of a Feather: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (Dreyfus Jazz, 2001) – Grammy nominated
With Freddie Hubbard
- Double Take with Woody Shaw (Blue Note, 1985)
- The Eternal Triangle with Woody Shaw (Blue Note, 1987)
- Topsy – Standard Book (alfa, 1989)
With Marcus Miller
- The Sun Don't Lie (Dreyfus, 1993)
- Tales (Dreyfus, 1995)
- Live & More (GRP, 1997)
- M² (Telarc, 2001)
- Dreyfus Night in Paris (Dreyfus Jazz, 2003) with Michel Petrucciani, Biréli Lagrène, Lenny White – live recorded in 1994
- Panther/Live (Jazz Door, 2004)
With Mulgrew Miller
With Charnett Moffett
- Beauty Within (Blue Note, 1989)
- Evidence (Telarc, 1993)
With Woody Shaw
- Double Take with Freddie Hubbard (Blue Note, 1985)
- The Eternal Triangle with Freddie Hubbard (Blue Note, 1988)
With Mike Stern
With Jeff "Tain" Watts
- Geri Allen, The Nurturer (Blue Note, 1991) – rec. 1990
- Clifton Anderson, Decade (Doxy, 2008)
- Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Feeling Good (Delos Productions, 1986)
- Cindy Blackman, Arcane (Muse, 1987) – rec. 1986
- Terence Blanchard, Romantic Defiance (Columbia, 1995)
- Richard Bona, "Painting a Whish" in Munia: The Tale (Verve, 2003)
- Cameo, Machismo (Atlanta Artists, 1988) – rec. 1987-88
- Dennis Chambers, Planet Earth (BHM Productions, 2005)
- The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Music is my Mistress (Musicmasters, 1989)
- Foley, 7 Years Ago ... Directions In Smart-Alec Music (MoJazz, 1993)
- Guru, Guru's Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality (Chrysalis, 1995)
- Bobby Hutcherson, Skyline (Verve, 1999)
- Javon Jackson, When The Time Is Right (Blue Note, 1994) - rec. 1993
- Al Jarreau, Tenderness (Reprise, 1994) - rec. 1993
- Rodney Kendrick, The Secrets of Rodney Kendrick (Verve, 1993)
- Christian McBride, Number Two Express (verve, 1996)
- John McLaughlin, Five Peace Band Live (Concord, 2009) – Grammy won
- Meshell Ndegeocello, The Spirit Music Jamia: Dance of the Infidel (Universal Music, 2005)
- Michel Petrucciani, Dreyfus Night in Paris with Marcus Miller, Biréli Lagrène, Lenny White (Dreyfus Jazz, 2003) – live rec. 1994
- Q-Tip, Kamaal the Abstract (Battery, 2009) – rec. 2001
- Tony Reedus & Urban Relations, People Get Ready (Sweet Basil, 1998)
- Wallace Roney, Intuition (Muse, 1988)
- Philippe Saisse, Masques (Verve Forecast, 1995)
- John Scofield, Works for Me (Verve, 2000)
- Woody Shaw, Solid (Muse, 1987) – rec. 1986
- Patches Stewart, Blow (Koch, 2005)
- Stephen Scott, The Beautiful Thing (Verve, 1997)
- Sting, "The Burning Babe" in If on a Winter's Night... (Deutsche Grammophon, 2009)
- Wayman Tisdale, Power Forward (Motown, 1995)
- Steve Turre, Rainbow People (HighNote, 2008)
- Jack Walrath, Master of Suspense (Blue Note, 1987) – rec. 1986-87
- Cedar Walton, Cedar Walton Plays (Delos, 1986) – rec. 1986
- Lenny White, Present Tense (Hip Bop, 1995)
- Larry Willis, My Funny Valentine (Jazz City, 1988)
- Akiko Yano, "Chinsagu No Hana (てぃんさぐぬ花)" in Elephant Hotel (Epic, 1994)
- The Kenny Garrett Collection. Artist Transcriptions. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States: Hal Leonard Corp. 2004.
- Kenny Garrett. Jazz Play-Along. Vol. 153. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States: Hal Leonard Corp. 2016.
Awards and nominations
|1996||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|1997||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|1997||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Jazz Album of the Year||Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane|
|1998||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance||Chick Corea – Remembering Bud Powell|
|1998||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance||Songbook|
|1998||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|1999||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2002||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Roy Haynes – Birds of a Feather: A Tribute to Charlie Parker|
|2007||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Beyond the Wall|
|2009||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2010||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2010||Won||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Chick Corea & John McLaughlin Five Peace Band – Five Peace Band Live|
|2012||Nominated||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Jazz Album||Seeds from the Underground|
|2012||Nominated||Soul Train Awards||Best Traditional Jazz Artist/Group||Seeds from the Underground|
|2012||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2013||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Seeds from the Underground|
|2013||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Improvised Jazz Solo||"J. Mac" in Seeds from the Underground|
|2013||Won||Echo Award||Best International Jazz Saxophone Performance||Seeds from the Underground|
|2013||Nominated||JJA Jazz Awards||Alto Saxophonist of the Year|
|2013||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2014||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Pushing the World Away|
|2014||Nominated||Soul Train Awards||Best Traditional Jazz Performance||Pushing the World Away|
|2014||Won||DownBeat Critics Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2014||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2017||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2019||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (1989)||20||Prisoner of Love|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (1990)||5||African Exchange Student|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (1992)||6||Black Hope|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (1995)||22||Triology|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (1996)||10||Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (1997)||7||Songbook|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (1999)||20||Simply Said|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (2002)||19||Happy People|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (2003)||11||Standard of Language|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (2006)||13||Beyond the Wall|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (2008)||11||Sketches of MD: Live at the Iridium|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (2012)||10||Seeds from the Underground|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (2013)||6||Pushing the World Away|
|Billboard Top Jazz Albums (2016)||24||Do Your Dance!|
- Skelly, Richard. "Kenny Garrett: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
- "Nonesuch Records Beyond the Wall". Nonesuch.com.
- "Out of The Blue". Blue Note Records. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
- "Awards Nominations & Winners". Grammy.com. April 30, 2017.
- "Kenny Garrett Addresses Berklee's Largest Graduating Class | Berklee College of Music". Berklee.edu.
- "Soul Train Licensing Info". BET.com.
- "Kenny Garrett NAACP Image Award Nomination" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-03-19.
- Music, Mack Avenue (April 5, 2013). "Kenny Garrett won the Echo Award for saxophonist of the year! Make sure to pick up "Seeds From the Underground."". Twitter.com.
- "Kenny Garrett". Grammy.com. November 19, 2019.
- "The State of Jazz: Meet 40 More Jersey Greats", The Star-Ledger, September 28, 2003, backed up by the Internet Archive as of September 27, 2008. Accessed September 15, 2017. "Kenny Garrett -- Glen Ridge resident Garrett is a high-energy alto and soprano saxophonist who has played and/or recorded with Miles Davis, the Mercer Ellington Orchestra, Pharoah Sanders and Out of the Blue."
- "2023 NEA Jazz Masters Announced". jazztimes.com. 2022-07-14. Retrieved 2022-12-31.
- "Jazz Setlist, May 31-June 8: The Unfestive Alley". Washington City Paper. 31 May 2012.
- Ratliff, Ben (August 25, 2013). "A Young Jazz Singer Reminds Her Elders How It Was Done". The New York Times.
- "Kenny Garrett 1996 DownBeat Readers Poll Win". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
- "Kenny Garrett 1997 DownBeat Readers Poll Win". Archived from the original on 2015-06-04. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
- "Kenny Garrett". Recording Academy.
- "Kenny Garrett 1998 DownBeat Readers Poll Win". Archived from the original on 2015-06-04. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
- "Kenny Garrett 1999 DownBeat Readers Poll Win". Archived from the original on 2015-06-04. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
- "Four Nonesuch Albums Nominated for 2006 Grammy Awards". Nonesuch Records. December 6, 2006. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
- "Kenny Garrett 2009 DownBeat Readers Poll Win". Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
- "Kenny Garrett 2010 DownBeat Readers Poll Win". Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
- "Kenny Garrett 2012 DownBeat Readers Poll Win". Archived from the original on 2016-07-30.
- "JJA Jazz Awards 2013 Nominees/Winners". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
- "Kenny Garrett 2013 DownBeat Readers Poll Win". Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
- "Marsalis, Krall, Corea Among DownBeat Readers Poll Winners". October 24, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
- "Shorter, Salvant and Benson Among DownBeat Readers Poll Winners". October 21, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 1989". Billboard Magazine. 1989. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 1990". Billboard Magazine. 1990. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 1992". Billboard Magazine. 1992. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 1995". Billboard Magazine. 1995. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 1996". Billboard Magazine. 1996. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 1997". Billboard Magazine. 1997. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 1999". Billboard Magazine. 1999. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 2002". Billboard Magazine. 2002. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 2003". Billboard Magazine. 2003. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 2006". Billboard Magazine. 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, 2008". Billboard Magazine. 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, June 25, 2012". Billboard.com. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, October 5, 2013". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
- "Billboard Jazz Albums, July 30, 2016". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved July 30, 2016.