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October 9, 1960 |
Detroit, Michigan, United States
|Genres||Jazz, post-bop, jazz fusion|
|Instruments||alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute|
|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 recognition in his youth as a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and of Miles Davis's band. Since then, he has pursued a successful solo career and has been 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.
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. A few 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. Since 1990 the majority of Garrett albums are co-produced by pianist/composer Donald Brown. Garrett signed to the Warner Bros. Records label, and beginning with Black Hope, in 1992, he has continued to record with them. Among his 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, Brad Mehldau, 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 influences, 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 Davis's 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 in 2008–2009 with Corea, McLaughlin, Christian McBride and 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, Garrett was presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts. Garrett was the Commencement Speaker  for 908 graduates, the largest graduating class in Berklee history. Attended by four thousand people, the commencement ceremony took place at the Agganis Arena (Boston University).
On October 15, 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. On December 5, 2012, two Grammy nominations for Seeds from the Underground followed in the 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 Garrett won an Echo Award in the Saxophonist of the Year category.
On September 17, 2013, Garrett released his second studio album for Mack Avenue Records, Pushing the World Away. The album received a Grammy nomination in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category in December of the same year. Garrett also won the 2013 DownBeat Readers Poll for the second consecutive year, which brought his total number of wins in the Alto Saxophone category to 8.
On July 8, 2016, Garrett released his third studio album for Mack Avenue Records, Do Your Dance!.
- Introducing Kenny Garrett, 1984 (Criss Cross)
- 5 Paddle Wheel, 1988
- Prisoner of Love, 1989 (Atlantic)
- African Exchange Student, 1990 (Atlantic)
- Black Hope, 1992 (Warner Bros.)
- Triology, 1995 (Warner Bros.)
- Stars & Stripes Live, 1995
- Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane, 1996 (Warner Bros.)
- Songbook, 1997 (Warner Bros.) — GRAMMY Nomination
- Simply Said, 1999 (Warner Bros.)
- Old Folks, 2001
- Birds of a Feather: A Tribute to Charlie Parker, 2001
- Happy People, 2002 (Warner Bros.)
- Standard of Language, 2003 (Warner Bros.)
- Beyond the Wall, 2006 (Nonesuch) — GRAMMY Nomination
- Sketches of MD – Live at the Iridium, 2008 (Mack Avenue)
- Seeds from the Underground, 2012 (Mack Avenue) — 2 GRAMMY Nominations
- Pushing the World Away, 2013 (Mack Avenue) - 1 GRAMMY Nomination
- Do Your Dance!, 2016 (Mack Avenue)
With Geri Allen
- The Nurturer (Blue Note, 1991)
With Art Blakey
- Feeling Good (Delos, 1986)
With Miles Davis
With Marcus Miller
With Woody Shaw
- Solid (Muse, 1986)
With Mulgrew Miller
- Hand in Hand (1993)
With other artists (selected)
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|
|1997||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance||Songbook|
|1998||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|1999||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2006||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||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|
|2012||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2013||Won||DownBeat Readers Poll||Alto Saxophone|
|2013||Nominated||Grammy Award||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Pushing the World Away|
|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|
|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!|
- 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.
- "Kenny Garrett, Washington City Paper, May. 31, 2012".
- "Kenny Garrett, New York Times, August 25, 2013".
- Skelly, Richard. "Kenny Garrett: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
- Brown, Donald. "Credits". All Music.
- "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 2012 Grammy Award Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett NAACP Image Award Nomination" (PDF).
- "Kenny Garrett Echo Award Win".
- "Kenny Garrett 2013 Grammy Award Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett 1996 DownBeat Readers Poll Win".
- "Kenny Garrett 1997 DownBeat Readers Poll Win".
- "Kenny Garrett 1997 Grammy Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett 1998 DownBeat Readers Poll Win".
- "Kenny Garrett 1999 DownBeat Readers Poll Win".
- "Kenny Garrett 2006 Grammy Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett 2009 DownBeat Readers Poll Win".
- "Kenny Garrett 2010 DownBeat Readers Poll Win".
- "Kenny Garrett Jazz Award Nomination".
- "Kenny Garrett 2012 DownBeat Readers Poll Win".
- "Kenny Garrett 2013 DownBeat Readers Poll Win".
- "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.
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