Kenwood Dennard
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Kenwood Dennard

Band Jazz Funk


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Kenwood Dennard has performed with:

George Adams, Pepper Adams, Nat Adderly Jr.,Greg Allman, Carlos Alomar, David Amram, Glen Alexander, Geri Allen, Chet Atkins,Tom Barney, Kenny Baron, Ray Barretto, Harry Belafonte, George Benson, Brook Benton, Alex Blake, John Blake, Art Blakey, Arthur Blythe, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Curtis Brooks, Delmar Brown/Bushrock, Maxine Brown, Hiram Bullock, Joanne Brackeen, Brand X, Caracas Municipal Symphony Orchestra, Chairmen of the Board, Ray Chew, George Clinton (P-Funk), Honey Coles, Chick Corea, Larry Coryell, Bob Cunningham, Richard Cummings,Miles Davis, Richard Davis, Gloria De Nard, Santi Debriano, Ursula Dudziak, Candy Dulfer, Pee-wee Ellis, Bobby Enriquez, Aydin Esen, Kevin Eubanks, Robin Eubanks, Gil Evans, Miles Evans, John Faddis, Chico Freeman, Curtis Fuller, Larry Goldings, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Gonzales, Rael Wesley Grant, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Jonas Hellborg, Jon Hendricks, Chris Hinze, Adam Holtzman, Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston, Phyllis Hyman, Anthony Jackson, Chip Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, George Jinda, Howard Johnson, Quincy Jones, Sam Jones, Rodney Jones, Stanley Jordan, Kenny Kirkland, Sy Kogan, Hubert Laws, Pete Levin, Listen my Brother (warmup act for Sly and the Family Stone), Jon Lucien, Carmen Lundy, Cecil McBee, Manhattan Transfer, Chuck Mangione, Pat Martino, Dave Matthews (Arranger / keyboardist with James Brown), Al McDowell, Bobby McFerrin, John McLaughlin, Marcus Miller, Charles Mingus, Charnett Moffett, James Moody, Bob Moses, Othello Molineaux, Valerie Naranjo, Maceo Parker/JBHorns, Hermeto Pascual, JacoPastorius, Peaches and Herb, Marvin Hannibal Peterson, Tom Pierson, Reuben Phillips, Noel Pointer, Tito Puente, T. Ranganathan, Dianne Reeves, Sam Rivers, Claudio Roditi, Red Rodney, Pharoah Sanders, John Scofield, Mark Sherman, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Smith, Lew Soloff, The Soul Intentions, Special EFX, Mike Stern, Bob Stewart, STING, Toots Theilmans, Patato Valdez, Gerardo Velez, Luther Vandross, Miroslav Vitous, Cedar Walton, Kazumi Wantanabe, Sadao Wantanabe, Grover Washington, Jr., Jimmy Webb, Fred Wesley, Vanessa Williams, Edgar Winter, Reggie Workman, Joe Zawinul, David Bargeron.



Kenwood Dennard was born in Brooklyn, New York in March of 1956. His parents were both professional singers. Kenwood began playing piano at age 3 and drums at age 8. He started private studies on piano at age 5 and on drums at age 9. In 1968, Kenwood attended David Mannes School where he studied ear training, theory, and piano. In 1971 he furthered his classical studies at the Manhattan School of Music Prep. Department, where he began studying percussion with Jim Price.

After finishing High School at age 17, Kenwood was accepted into Berklee College of Music in Boston that
same year. There he majored in composition. His principal instrument was drums, which he studied with Gary Chaffee and Alan Dawson. Kenwood attended the accelerated program in order to make time to study theory with Nadja Boulanger during the summer of 1975 in Fontainebleu, France. Kenwood graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee in 1976. Thus he completed his formal training, but has continued to study with master musicians throughout the world.

Kenwood has played with the likes of Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, Ray Barretto, Harry Belafonte, and Art Blakey. Some cite Kenwood's work with Maceo Parker as definitive or perhaps Brand X, while others point to his work with the likes of George Clinton, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Evans, Luther Vandross, Grover Washington, and Joe Zawinul. To say the least, Kenwood Dennard has slipped transparently into incredibly diverse musical situations.

In 1997, Dennard moved to Boston and took advantage of the rich musical scene, playing with many more name artists. He also became a respected educator, returning to Berklee College as a full-time associate professor. A good many of his students have gone on to starring roles. Examples include Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin and Wood), Richie Morales (Spyro Gyra), Marvin "Smitty" Smith (Branford Marsalis, The Jay Leno Show), Zac Alford (B-52s), Will Calhoun (Living Colour), and the late Tony Thompson, drummer for Chic and The Power Station.

Kenwood has created a unique, forceful, and seemingly ambidextrous drumming style that is daunting in its complexity. His version of ambidexterity extends beyond the drums, wherein he actually delivers rhythm, harmony, and melody while sitting behind a drumkit augmented by keyboards and percussion. This is no novel "one-man show" but, rather, an expansion of the traditional role of drummer to include melodic improvisation, singing and street rapping. In fact, Kenwood is featured doing these things, playing drumkit with his right hand and feet while his left hand plays keys, on the DVD Drummers Collective 25 Anniversary produced by Hudson Music.

But Dennard's expertise extends beyond solo performances-far beyond. A longtime collaborator with jazz/fusion artist Pat Martino, Kenwood's agile and crisp style can be heard on Martino's signpost albums Joyous Lake and more recently, Stone Blue. Both offer prime examples of Dennard's command of the kit, his intensity, and his capacity to communicate musically.