Bernie Kenerson Group
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Bernie Kenerson Group


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"Bernie Kenerson on Radio"

Bernie Kenerson “Just You & Me”
The Art of The EWI

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9 Countries 31 States as of 11/15/2007

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"New CD "Just You & Me" Review"

By: Edward Blanco

The first in a series of albums being recorded featuring the electric wind instrument (EWI), this CD features multi-instrumentalist Bernie Kenerson playing the Akai 4000s electric horn on ten original compositions. An unusual recording that captured my interest almost immediately. The sound is definitely different and one that jazz audiences may not be use to hearing but, should be, in my opinion, quite receptive to the music found hear. The music blends contemporary jazz with smooth and fusion jazz colors delivered with an electric twist.

Kenerson plays with a quartet consisting of Jim Schneider (keyboards), Gary Craddock (upright and electric bass), and Art Weiss (drums and percussions), and adds Vince Peeples who plays guitar on two tracks and Nemil Chabebe playing percussion on one track. Kenerson also plays the tenor sax, flute and bass clarinet.

The opening title number and the second track, “She Said,” clearly establishes the EWI’s dominant lead role on the album with a couple of very nice light jazz almost smooth in texture. “Stay in Shape,” moves to a more traditional jazz groove featuring more of Kenerson soloing on the EWI.

There’s a two-minute fusion type intro to “Glade You Said Yes,” which is all Kenerson stretching the horn making airy sounds before giving way to a slow and beautiful ballad in one of the best tunes here. My vote for the liveliest cut has to be the samba-shaded “Grand Strand Samba,” that moves quickly with terrific percussions and one heck of a performance by the leader.

Other notable pieces include “Honeymoon Flight,” and “Summer Release.” Well that just about does it; this is one interesting musical experience that this listener enjoyed without any reservations. The EWI may not be taking over the Jazz world just yet, but Bernie Kenerson does a fine job bringing it out to the forefront. Well done. -

"A Mighty Electric Wind"

Bernie Kenerson plays the flute. But at 6'4", 200-plus pounds and after 14 years in the U.S. Army I wouldn't give him any grief about it. He also plays just about every wind instrument and horn ever invented, though his true passion is the EWI. Pronounced eee-wee, the Akai EWI 4000 is the latest in the evolution of electric wind instruments - those you play like a traditional clarinet but that are attached to a synthesizer - think the "Star Wars" Cantina Band. Kenerson has been demonstrating his skills with the EWI and standard horns around Myrtle Beach for more than a decade playing at several area theaters, with the symphony, in the house band at the now defunct Jasmine Supper Club and with local funk/fusion band Painted Man.

His own band, Slipstream has been gathering steam and attention with performances around town occasionally in the few places that will hire jazz bands and Kenerson locked down the headliner slot at this weekend's Little River Shrimp & Jazz Fest. He'll perform at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Festival admission is $3.

Promoting his new CD "Just You & Me - The Art of the EWI," Kenerson and band (Sam Favata on guitar, Gary Craddock on bass, Art Weiss on drums/percussion) will perform selections from the project and other compositions from his many years as a composer. "It's time to bring the EWI out to the forefront and give it some respect," says Kenerson. "It's the acronym for "electric wind instrument" and I wish they'd called it something else - but oh well."

Kenerson was born to musical parents and began playing the clarinet at age 7, sax at 10 and flute at 13. At 16 he began his professional career playing around his hometown of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and at 17 he joined the Army where he enjoyed a 14-year career as an instrumentalist and arranger in Army bands. He obtained a two-year Professional Diploma from Berklee College of Music and a Bachelor of Music Degree from Appalachian State University. After college, where Slipstream was first formed, Kenerson spent several years overseas performing at concerts and festivals throughout western Europe and north Africa before settling into Myrtle Beach. No stranger to beach music, Kenerson has won three Cammy Awards (the beach music scene's version of the Grammys) and has been recorded on countless CDs including 11 that made the Beach Music Top 100 poll.

But jazz is where Kenerson's passions lay and his songs clearly prove his abilities as a composer, arranger and performer. While he plays traditional instruments, the EWI is his favorite and he's unapologetic in his obsession for the unique horn. "I've been playing electric wind instruments for almost 30 years now - since 1978. I've always loved them. I just took to the thing. I really connect with them and I think this latest version, the Akia EWI 4000 S is about the fifth generation and I think the best. I played the Lyricon in the late '70s, the Yamaha after MIDI came out and then I switched to the Akai - and I'm glad I did. It's the instrument, that when I have it my hands, I can express what's going on inside and get it out."

Kenerson's CD was recorded at Big City Music Studios in North Myrtle Beach in the spring and features Jim Schneider on keyboards, Craddock on bass, Weiss on drums and percussion, Painted Man leader Vince Peeples on guitar and a few guests. The 10 original Kenerson compositions merge traditional jazz with the fusion/pop sounds of Steely Dan and contemporary/smooth jazz of groups such as the Yellowjackets and Weather Report. "The CD is doing really well," says Kenerson. "It's been picked up by a few radio stations and been featured in a few magazines. My goal is to be the poster boy for the EWI.

"Bernie Kenerson, Just You & Me, The Art of the EWI" is available online at And check out for video and audio clips and more information about Slipstream. - Weekly Surge By Paul Grimshaw

"The Art of The EWI CD Review"

all•about•jazz Oct 2007/Vol.5 No.9
By George Harris

There are very few reedmen who are willing to put it on the line to face the daunting challenge of trying to master the formidable EWI (pronounced eewee). Keyboard players and guitarists seemingly have no qualms about electronically tinkering with their instruments, but such experimentation seems rare among woodwind musicians. Bernie Kenerson puts his creativity to good use on his latest release, Just You & Me, a varied collection of synthesized sounds sure to soothe the soul. Funky songs like "Stayin' In Shape" have an arresting mixture of '40s swing and '70s Stevie Wonder. The driving drum work of Art Weiss, mixing with Kenerson's clavinet sounding horn gives a Weather Report groove to the attractive "She Said." If you are listening to this with earphones, your cochlea will get a definite workout on the full bodied intro to "Glad You Said Yes," sounding like an amalgamation of Bach organ and Moody Blues. Kenerson with his highly flexible rhythm section of Jim Schneider (keyboards), Weiss and Gary Craddock (bass) is able to make bebop sound absolutely other wordly on the crisp and snappy "B.W." Fun, funky and ferocious, Just You & Me is a find for groove fanatics. - all•about•jazz

"Hot New CD In The Listening Loft"

The EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument - pronounced “eewee”) has been known to spice up a tune as evidenced by some classic Smooth Jazz including many an early Rippingtons’ recording. An entire album with EWI as the lead, however, totally moves this instrument to the forefront and gives it some due respect. Enter innovator, composer and multi-instrumentalist Bernie Kenerson of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His extensive musical background includes saxes, flutes, clarinets and keyboards. Mr. Kenerson started playing Electronic Wind Instruments nearly 30 years ago when he picked up a Lyricon. Now his instrument of choice is the Akai EWI4000s, upon which he displays an incredible facility for expression and artistry. According to Bernie, “The new Akai EWI4000s is the best way I’ve found to express the music inside me.” His new album JUST YOU & ME is strong evidence of that. His playing is brilliant, and with a live rhythm section he completely immerses himself in the improvisation and energy of his instrument and, more importantly, conveys it convincingly to his listeners. This is first and foremost a jazz album, with colors ranging from pensive and haunting (“Glad You Said Yes”) to fun and festive (“Grand Strand Samba”). Rhythms range from Reggae (“Honeymoon Flight”) to Smooth contemporary (“She Said”), and if you need any cajoling into accepting the EWI as a bona fide lead instrument, Bernie Kenerson and his new album JUST YOU & ME are the ones to do it.
By Scott O'Brian CD review in the Listening Loft @ 11/1/2007 -

"Bernie Kenerson "Just You & Me""

My reaction to multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer & arranger, Bernie Kenerson’s latest release, Just You & Me, is pure exhilaration. And when Kenerson asked, in a recent conversation we had about his art and his music, which of the ten songs from the CD evoked those feelings, I said, they all did. The title track, the first song on the CD, got my attention. Impressed by what I’d heard, I stayed to experience the rest of the music. Honestly, Bernie, I added, if you wanted to know which track I liked best, I would have to say, I don’t have a favorite song. For me, it was the collective rather than a portion of the whole that spoke. Just You & Me is a feel good, high-energy montage of well written and arranged tunes featuring Bernie on EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) and a wonderful live rhythm section. “These songs were designed with the jazz listener in mind,” Kenerson explained. He went on to say, “my intent with this CD was to make sounds that would encourage my fans and new converts to get excited about life and hopeful about what the day might bring them.”

Bernie Kenerson started his professional music career at age 16 as a member of the local jazz-rock group, Seawind, in his hometown, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. At 17, he joined the U.S. Army, assigned to the 214 Army Band in Atlanta, GA as a clarinet and saxophone player. From the Army, it was on to Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied jazz saxophone, composing, and arranging, eventually earning a two-year professional diploma. His next stop was Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, a Bachelors Degree in Performance, majoring in saxophone, a teaching position followed and the formation of the Neo-jazz band, Slipstream. The group’s self-produced album, Afterglow, received Downbeat Magazine’s DeeBee Award for best college group and Bernie received an Outstanding Soloist award for his work on the Lyricon, which he started playing in 1978.

Slipstream disbanded and Bernie reentered the Army spending 11 years as a musician, which were highlighted by five years in Europe, stationed outside of Brussels, Belgium as a founding member of the prestigious S.H.A.P.E. International Band.

They performed at concerts and festivals throughout Western Europe, including a tour in Morocco. After getting out of the Army, this time, Kenerson moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in May of 1995 and has become an integral part of the cities’ bustling music scene performing and sharing the stage with artists like Gato Barbieri, Kim Waters, Yellowjackets, Bob James and the legendary Jimmy Smith, among others.

Kenerson has been performing on electric wind instruments for nearly three decades starting with the Lyricon and is an innovator and world-class master on the new Akai EWI 4000’s. “My goal is to establish the EWI and bring it into the mainstream. I want to show that it’s a wonderfully expressive artistic instrument in its own right. At present, my playing style is the opposite of everyone else’s. The EWI is my main instrument and I pick the sax or flute up occasionally. What it comes down to is that as an artistic improviser, you want the instrument that you play to have the least lines of resistance between your creative process going inside your soul and the sound that’s coming out. And for me, I make the best connection with the EWI.”

Kenerson is busy in the studio working on his next CD project, Bernie Game, and promoting his latest release, Just You & Me, ten instrumental tracks of original jazz tunes in a variety of contemporary jazz styles played on, … the EWI, of course!

by Lyndah Malloy-Glover - ABYSSJazz magazine


Latest CD: Make My Jungle Electric-Due out September 2009
New Christmas CD: Merry EWI Christmas-Nov 2008
New Release: Bernie Game-July 2008
Just You & Me (The Art of the EWI)-July 2007
Afterglow (Featuring the Lyricon) March 1982



Innovator and multi-instrumentalist, Bernie Kenerson says it’s time to bring the Akai EWI 4000s out to the forefront and give it some r-e-s-p-e-c-t! With his talent and ability, he will do just that. He’s a producer, composer and arranger who plays many different electric wind instruments, saxophones, flutes, clarinets and keyboards. Bernie was born to musical parents and began playing clarinet at age 7, sax at age 10 and flute at age 13. He started his professional career at age 16 in his hometown of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He joined the U. S. Army at age 17 and has 14 years experience as an instrumentalist and arranger in Army Bands.

His musical studies include a Two-Year Professional Diploma from Berklee College of Music and a Bachelor of Music Degree from Appalachian State University where he formed the Neo-jazz band, ‘Slipstream’. The group’s self produced album ‘Afterglow’ received Downbeat magazine’s 1982 DeeBee award for best college group and Bernie received an Outstanding Soloist award for his work on the Lyricon.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Bernie lived in Brussels, Belgium where he performed in a variety of groups at concerts and festivals throughout Western Europe, Scandinavia and Morocco.

He moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in May 1995 and has been busy performing and recording ever since. This period has been highlighted by three years in the house band at the Jasmine Supper Club (a 7 night-a-week jazz venue) where he performed nightly and shared the stage with jazz greats Gato Barbieri, Kim Waters, The Yellowjackets, Joe Beck, Bob James, and the legendary Jimmy Smith. Bernie can be heard on many Beach Music CDs, including 11 that made the Beach Music top 100 and has received three Cammy (Carolina Beach Music) Awards.

He’s currently performing with his own band the Bernie Kenerson Group and working on Art of the EWI CD projects. Bernie began performing on electric wind instruments in April 1978 with the Lyricon. Currently his instruments of choice are the Akai EWI 4000s and new EWI USB. He displays a wealth of expression and artistry on this unique electric horn.

Reviewer Chris Spector Says, “A first class set throughout, this jazzbo knows how to deliver, the kind of cat well primed to take this electronic instrument to the next level of the game.” Scott O’Brian of says, “His playing is brilliant, and with a live rhythm section he completely immerses himself in the improvisation and energy of his instrument and, more importantly, conveys it convincingly to his listeners.”

His new CD release “Bernie Game” (The Art of the EWI) is set to take the Contemporary Jazz world by storm. There are 8 new originals and 2 surprise covers that are some of the smoothest and jazziest to hit in awhile. In Bernie’s hands the EWI seems like it was made for Contemporary Jazz. At a recent show in Charleston, South Carolina a new fan was heard saying, “I love the sound of the EWI. It like, massaged my brain.”

The Bernie Kenerson Group has a fresh new smooth and sophisticated jazz sound that is driven by the unique tones of Bernie's EWI and the creative musical support he gets from his wonderful group. Check out the Bernie Kenerson Group and hear the future!