Shannon Kennedy
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Shannon Kennedy

Lake Forest, California, United States | SELF

Lake Forest, California, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter


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"The New Age of Jazz"

The New Age of Jazz
Younger musicians make sure the genre doesn't hip-hop generations.
Special to

You may have seen and heard them, serenading diners at your favorite restaurant, or performing at a private party.

And you may have marveled at how well they've mastered that seasoned music genre known as jazz, when they haven't even reached drinking age.

The art of jazz is catching on with younger Orange County residents, some of whom are sharing their talents in concerts and private performances.

One of the most visible of this young vanguard is the Black Note Trio, the lead combo of the jazz program at the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA).

The Trio is part of a growing number of high school students who are pursuing jazz in earnest. And they are earning a multi-generational audience of fans in pursuit of them.

"Dynamite group!" said KKJZ on-air host Helen Borgers, who tapped the Trio – Dan Reckard on piano and woodwinds, Tyler Hindsley on bass and Cindy Gould on drums – to launch her "Ones to Watch" radio series on 89.3 FM.

"Not only are they skilled musicians, but each also has an assurance on their instrument that allows them to play with humor, as well as feeling, without compromising the swing, of course. This is the mark of future greatness."

The Trio got "Ones to Watch" off to a great start, with careful, clever reworkings of the standards "I Concentrate on You" and "Here's That Rainy Day" as well as energized interpretations of such modern jazz classics as Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance" and Chick Corea's "Spain."

But most impressive was the fluidity and imagination they brought to a Reckard original, "Rephrygerator." The hour performance was frequently as commanding as the station's regular programming, and anyone tuning in unaware could have hardly guessed the players' ages (all three are 17).

Their teacher and mentor, Bijon Watson, is the accomplished trumpeter who directs OCHSA's Jazz, Commercial Music and Winds Studies. The dozens of musicians at OCHSA – enough to form the school's four jazz ensembles – may be found performing with other young bands at private events.

The Black Note Trio played a recent fund-raiser in Reckard's hometown of Laguna Beach, and were invited by KKJZ's José Rizo to join Buddy Collette onstage in Los Angeles on Oct. 8.

While The Trio is available for outside work, their focus recently has been on OCHSA's "Latin Grooves" concert this Friday, Oct. 13, which will showcase all four of the school's jazz groups.

And then there are musicians like Shannon Kennedy, 19, of Lake Forest, who is available year-round. The Shannon Kennedy Quartet performs two Saturdays a month at Antonucci's restaurant in Mission Viejo, and her trio performs the first Tuesday of each month at Cavallino's Ristorante in Huntington Beach.

"I'm seeing kids younger than me deciding that they want to do music as well," said Kennedy, a saxophonist and OCSHA alumnus. "And I find that people in general are more likely to go to something and then they find that jazz isn't boring."

Kennedy has created a web site,, for fellow young musicians. The site is a clearinghouse for information on contacts, concerts and CD releases, and gives a good indication of the level of interest, as well as the number of young musicians available to perform.

"I think what attracts people to jazz is the spirit and spontaneity of it," said Reckard. "After that, I have found that all it takes is a little explaining and most people are interested."

The members of the Black Note Trio began playing before they were 10 years old. Reckard is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, while Gould, a Corona resident, moves easily between symphony, musical theater and pop drumming. Hindsley, an Anaheim resident, has extensive studio work under his belt, including his all-bass re-orchestration of Pat Metheny's "Minuano," and has appeared with artists in various genres.

But their focus on jazz came after they enrolled at the performing arts school.

"When they first came in, they weren't really that into it," said Watson. "But the immersion of pretty much doing it every day and then performing live and seeing the guest artists at every one of our concerts has made the difference."

"I think interest in jazz is growing," agreed Gould, who is in her fifth year at the school. "There are a lot of young people who are coming out to shows."

"Yeah," said Reckard, "It's coming back. It's never been as big as it was 50 years ago. But it's always been hip."

Hear the young talents:

Friday, Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Segerstrom High School, Santa Ana

Tickets: $11-$15 at or e-mail, 714-564-3282

Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, who has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Nancy Wilson, George Benson and Gerald Wilson among hundreds of others, will be the special guest artist.

Also watch for youth showcases "Legends of Jazz" on Feb. 3 and "Funk & Fusion" on May 12. Locations to be announced.

To contact the Black Note Trio:

Saturdays, Oct. 21, Nov. 4 and 18
7:30 p.m. at Antonucci's, 4190 Alicia Pkwy., Mission Viejo

Tuesday, Nov. 7
7 p.m. at Cavallino's Ristorante, Huntington Beach



• KKJZ's Ones to Watch
• Teen Jazz

You might also want to read:

• Keeping jazz alive and well in O.C.
Bijon Watson works day and night to jazz up Orange County.
- OC Squeeze

""Jazz Monthly Feature Interview" Shannon Kennedy"

Smitty: I am very excited to welcome to Jazz Monthly for the very first time a great young saxophonist. She’s a native of Southern California; she’s produced her first CD; it’s called Angel Eyes, and what’s so cool is she released this CD just months after her high school graduation. Please welcome Ms. Shannon Kennedy. Shannon, how are you?

Shannon Kennedy (SK): I’m good, Smitty, thanks. How are you?

Smitty: I’m wonderful. Thank you. You have so much going on. My goodness! You’re playing instrumental pop, you’re playing contemporary music, smooth jazz, blues, you’ve produced a CD that is great, and you’re working on some other projects, you’re co-producing a CD. Talk to me about your CD, Angel Eyes. Now, this is your first album and how are you feeling about this first album?

SK: I feel that it reflects my ability at the time very well. I actually ended up doing the CD as an accident ‘cause I talked with one of my teachers about recording a CD and he took me seriously and he said “Yeah, okay, we’ll get you in the studio” and it never happened, so I started talking to some of the kids that I know, and the next thing I knew, we were picking out a list of songs to record and we went in the studio for two days, we recorded the CD live, we had about three hours each day, we spent the first hour rehearsing and the second two hours recording it in the basement studio at my high school, and it was a lot of fun. I was in the booth and everyone else was back behind the glass, and it was really hard because the first day we only had two sets of headphones, so it was really hard to follow each other, but we managed to do it and it was a lot of fun.

Smitty: When you first began put this record together, talk about how you selected the songs for this first project.

SK: It’s funny. How I selected the songs…well, I pretty much picked songs that I knew. Actually, there’s one song on the CD I hadn’t played before the recording. All the rest of the songs I learned just for the CD.

Smitty: How were you able to manage other activities?

SK: Well, I went to the Orange County High School of the Arts, which is a school specifically for future artists, musicians, etc., and we were always in the environment of putting things together sort of last minute and just pulling things out of the hat like a magic kind of thing, and it was a spur-of-the-moment thing with the production and design crew at the school, so we brought in a kid to engineer the CD and the band’s all kids I went to high school with and I brought in my saxophone teacher, Greg Vail, and he supervised everything and we pretty much just did it all on our own.

Smitty: So Greg Vail was in on this, huh?

SK: Yeah.

Smitty: That’s pretty cool. Yeah, he’s a great sax player, isn’t he?

SK: Yeah.

Smitty: You’re also working on some other things. I know you’re a Web designer so you’ve designed some Web sites for some of your colleagues, including your own Web sites as well.

SK: Yes. When I was first starting on saxophone and I was taking lessons with Greg, his son, who is my age was always working on his Web site, so I had him teach me html and I just kinda took off with it. I design Web sites for him now and for other young musicians. The first website that I designed was It started out as a Web site for my band when I was a sophomore in high school which was called Night Vision and the url was already taken, so I chose Teen Jazz and after a while I figured with a url like that….and I was already writing articles that were pretty much advice articles for young musicians, I decided to gear the purpose of that Web site towards other young musicians my age. I had the advantage of going to an art school and meeting a lot of musicians who had already been auditioning for a while. That helped me out a lot and I know that the average kid doesn’t have that, so I tried to create a place for them to go and, in a way, have the same help that I had starting out.

Smitty: That was very cool, to be a resource for others, so this wasn’t just about you, but you recognized the need for fellow musicians to have the resources that you had. When you released your first CD, what was the reaction from the rest of the band? Talk about the whole experience of finishing and releasing the CD.

SK: Well, as far as releasing the CD, it was kind of stressing because the people we took it to for printing, they did a really good job but it took awhile. So I was just so glad to finally have them, and we scheduled a release date. My high school teacher booked a club near our school….and I play there every month….and the first date I ever had there was the CD release party and it happened to be the day after my birthday, so there was a really good crowd there. It was “Come to Shannon’s CD Release Party/Birthday Party” and there were a lot of people there and it was a lot of fun, and I used the band that was on the CD. We played the songs off the CD and then three hours worth of other music, everyone was really happy and proud that I was able to do that at such a young age, and I felt it was….personally a really big accomplishment for me.

It was very exciting. It was a very different experience for me because it was the first gig that I’d ever been the leader. I’ve always just gone to someone else’s gig, brought a sax and a mike, plugged into their P.A. and played. At this one I had to bring my own P.A., I had to set up all the mikes, get their early, rehearse with the band, and I had never had to do any of that before. I don’t even own my own P.A. system so, of course, I had to borrow someone else’s. Because I didn’t own a P.A. system, I didn’t know how to set it up, so I had to have someone else set the P.A. up for me.

Smitty: Very cool. As far as the record itself, when you first put this whole record together, were you thinking about just playing the alto or the baritone or the tenor? What was your concept of putting this record together? Did you want to do just a straight alto sax record or were you thinking about mixing in soprano and some other saxophones in there?

SK: On the record I play alto sax, soprano sax, and flute, but initially all the songs that we recorded, they’re not all on the CD, but I play tenor, alto, soprano and the flute. I didn’t play bari sax yet. I actually only started about six months ago. So I played everything, but the tenor track I ended up not being happy with, so I just put the other stuff on it. And the arrangements on the songs I pretty much came up with the night before the first recording, just singing the melodies to the songs and thinking about how I would like to play each song and singing a drum beat feel.

And as far as picking the instrument, I pretty much chose the songs to the instrument. Like “Friends and Strangers” I did on flute, which Ronnie Laws did on saxophone, but I had heard other people play it live and I had only heard it on flute. I actually didn’t hear the Ronnie Laws version of the song until the first day of the recording. And I did “Maputo,” which David Sanborn recorded, and I did more of a rock feel rather than the more Smooth Jazz feel that he does. “Song for My Father,” which is a song that I’ve always played whenever I go to sit in….not anymore but at the time….and I’ve always played it on alto and Greg’s always played it on bari, so I thought it would be cool to do it on the album the same way. And “Infant Eyes,” which I play on soprano, we picked that song because we were trying to think of a ballad that would sound really good on alto or soprano, and we ended up picking that song and I played soprano, and that’s pretty much how I decided which instruments I was playing on which song.

Smitty: Very cool. You’ve drawn some serious inspirations from some great artists as far as your career is concerned. Who’s your greatest influence?

SK: I can’t really say I have one. I’ve been influenced by Kenny Garrett, Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, Kurt Elling, Greg Vail, of course Michael Brecker, Vincent Herring, but I would have to say that if I had to pick one person, I would pick Greg Vail just because he’s the one who taught me how to play the saxophone, he’s always been around, he’s always supported me, he’s always helped me out as much as he could, he’s introduced me to people who have helped me out or who have worked with me, and he lets me play at all of his gigs and vice versa, and so he’s always just tried to push me out there and help me get as much exposure as I can, and he’s just also a great player, so he’s a really good person to be around and to listen to.

Smitty: Well, that’s cool. Well, we’ll have to give Greg a nice thumbs up. You have gotten off to a fast start with your career and you’ve crossed genres with your music. What would you say to other musicians your age about getting their career off to a good start? What advice would you give them?

SK: Well, something I notice with a lot of my friends or kids my age is that they sit around and wait for someone to call them, and it just doesn’t work that way. You have to get out there, go sit in wherever you can, play with as many people as you can, look at yourself as a leader because when you’re starting out people aren’t going hire you because there’s much better musicians out there, so you should get out there and book gigs and hire other people. It’s the easiest way to start working. And, you know, it’s just a matter of trying to do things yourself because no one’s going to do them for you.

Smitty: Excellent but very true and very well said. That’s excellent advice for all musicians, really, when you think about it. You’ve got, what, three or four Web sites.

SK: I have four Web sites.

Smitty: Let’s talk about Teen Jazz. Teen Jazz basically does what for the artist?

SK: Teen Jazz…I try to push it as a teen resource and networking Web site. It has helpful music-related articles of concert reviews, instrument/gear reviews, interviews with professional musicians Greg Adams, Mindi Abair, Carol Kaye, Terry Lyne Carrington, etc.; it’s got interviews with young musicians, very accomplished young musicians like Alex Han, Isaiah Morfin; and it offers a place for kids to go and kinda get their name out there. There’s an application they can apply to become a Teen Jazz artist, to get a feature on the page with a one-page bio, a photograph, contact information, whatever they want essentially.

Smitty: Very cool. And then there’s

SK: Yes, that’s my personal Web site. It’s been redesigned approximately ten times now. I think I’m happy with the way it looks right now finally. Well, that site’s pretty much my personal Web site. It talks about my CD, it talks about some of the things that I do and have done, it talks about what I’m planning on doing in the future, it has my press kit, my performance schedule, photographs, pretty much anything you’d want to know about me is on the site.

Smitty: Nice! And, now, talk about the other two you have.

SK: The other two…one is, which is a reed case company that my dad and I started when I was 16. There are a lot of reed cases out on the market for woodwind players and they’re really expensive. So one day my dad, when I needed one, decided to start making them instead of having to spend the money to buy them, and it just….everyone started wanting them, so we started Ken Kase Music and that’s the Web site for that. And the other Web site is, which is my record label.

Smitty: So you have your own record label. You are some go-getter, you know that? All right. So, now, have you been able to advise some of your teen friends as far as starting the record label?

SK: I’ve had some of my friends ask me about getting into the studio and recording and what it’s like, and pretty much with the record label since I can’t really afford to be a real record label and fund projects, I pretty much….the Web site for the record label’s just to kind of push my friends’ CD’s, so I put them up, add them to the catalog, I do the artwork and design for all the CD’s on the record label. It’s pretty much just….the record label just shows my involvement with the different projects, which is just try and help other people out.

Smitty: That’s very cool of you to do that. Talk to me a little bit about your sponsors. Rico Reeds, right?

SK: Yes!

Smitty: So tell me how that came about.

SK: I have two endorsements. I have one with Hollywood Winds Saxophones. I got that one a little over a year ago when the company was Unison Saxophones. I met Rheuben Allen and Shun Hwa Chang, who owned Unison, and they found out that I played Unison Saxophones and they approached me about sponsorship and I said “Of course, I’d love to,” and I recorded my CD and they heard it and they were amazed, when they switched companies to Hollywood Winds, or changed their name, they kept me as an artist, and when they were Unison, I played soprano and tenor for them, but as Hollywood Winds I’m actually their bari sax artist, so Rheuben is very impressed with my bari playing.

And the other one is with Rico, or D’Addario. I actually just got the contract for that, but I’ve been an unofficial kind of pseudo artist with them since this last summer; I’m one of three junior artists for Rico. There’s Alex Han, Isaiah Morfin and myself. And with Rico, that came about because I played in a band with someone who works with Rico’s son, and I use Rico reeds and I made a few calls and I asked about the possibility of being signed as an artist, and they said they would be interested in having me as an artist, and that’s pretty much how that happened.

Smitty: Nice! You’ve gotta be excited about having that kind of support.

SK: Yes, I am. It’s really great because it just shows that pretty much anything is possible as long as you just try. It’s just getting out there and doing it.

Smitty: Yes. So talk to me about where Shannon Kennedy goes from here.

SK: Well, for a while I wanted to own my own record label. For now I know that I just want to perform, get out there and play. I intend to be a contemporary saxophone player, Smooth Jazz. I have the ability to be a straight ahead saxophone player, it’s just I enjoy playing contemporary music more. And I feel I should play festivals, play at clubs, and I hope to play with some of my influences, like I’d love to play with Mindi Abair, Kirk Whalum or Kurt Elling, people like that.

Smitty: Oh yeah, I’m sure that will come in time. How can people get your CD?

SK: Right now it’s on CD Baby at

Smitty: Very cool. Do you prefer the live performance or the studio?

SK: Well, they’re both very different, but I would have to say that I like performing live more because there’s just so much energy that you get from a live audience that you don’t get in the studio. But when you’re in the studio recording and then there’s an actual product that you can hold in your hand afterwards and you can say “I did this,” it kind of is more of a physical accomplishment where you can give this to people and say “Look, this is me” or driving in your car and hear yourself or be at the dentist’s office and all of a sudden you hear yourself on the radio…that’s amazing. And then just going out and playing in front of people and having people just enjoy your music so much and what you’re doing and just admire you for that, and then having people come up and tell you how much they love hearing you play, so they’re both very unique and very enjoyable.

Smitty: Yes. Well, Shannon, I can’t thank you enough for sharing this great story with us and talking about your music and your career and what you have coming down the road. I think we can look for some very wonderful music from you in the future and I certainly wish you well with this project and your projects of the future. All right, we have been talking with a very young talent, Ms. Shannon Kennedy. Once again, her debut album is called Angel Eyes. Look for her at a venue in Southern California and beyond in the near future. Shannon thanks again for such a wonderful time.

SK: Thank you very much for having me.

Baldwin “Smitty” Smith

For More Information Visit or or or

- Jazz Monthly

"Shannon Kennedy: SaxTalk Junior Saxophonist of the Month: May 2005"

Shannon Kennedy is an incredible teenage saxophonist who is fast becoming a saxophone master. I did an exclusive telephone interview with her a few days ago and I will post of the details here soon. I have no doubt that she will become a saxophone superstar in the next few years.

Update: April 24th, 2005: During my interview with Ms. Shannon Kennedy, I was very impressed by her great taste in music. She loves a lot of great saxophonists including Michael Brecker, Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, Dave Liebman, Joe Henderson, Kirk Whalum, and Vincent Herring. Shannon is currently attending college as a music major and she is establishing a name for herself as a great player at a very young age.

My telephone interview with Ms. Kennedy was pretty short because she was getting ready for a gig. She was very gracious and a very nice person. She was very thoughtful and gave me very insightful answers to all of my questions. She impressed me because I could tell that she is very focused on music. This is one of the primary signs of greatness. Enjoy the interview below:

Rex D.: Hi Shannon, it’s nice to talk to you. How are you doing today?

Shannon K.: Hi! Thank you, I’m fine. I’m busy as always, getting ready to play.

Rex D.: I have found that my own playing made dramatic leaps when I started to play along with CDs that I liked. Have you found the same thing?

Shannon K.: For me, the most dramatic improvement in my playing has come from playing live. I truly enjoy that more than anything.

Rex D.: How old were you when you started playing the saxophone?

Shannon K.: I started playing seriously at the age of 14. Since then, I added other instruments; I started out on the flute, and I now play clarinet, all the saxophones, as well as sing.

Rex D.: Wow! You are a multi-talented lady. Who are some of your primary influences?

Shannon K.: I love Michael Brecker, Steely Dan, and Kirk Whalum. I also enjoy listening to Chris Potter, Joe Henderson, and Wolfgang Muthspiel, a great guitarist and composer.

Rex D.: What are your aspirations as a saxophonist? Do you intend on playing professionally?

Shannon K.: Absolutely! I am going to be a solo recording and performing artist. I am currently writing songs that are going to be on my CD which will be released in 2005.

Rex D.: What is your practice routine?

Shannon K.: I normally practice at least four hours a day and I play live with several groups and bands on an almost daily basis.

Rex D.: Well Shannon, you have a good head on your shoulders, and I love your positive attitude and great work ethic. I think that in a few years, we will see Shannon Kennedy’s image plastered on billboards and on TV. Thank you for your time Shannon! Please keep us up to date at as your career develops.

Shannon K: Thanks Rex! Thank you for having me! I will stay in touch and update you on my playing! Bye!

Shannon Kennedy is a sweetheart of a person and I know that she will be one of the greats one day. Ms. Shannon Kennedy, we here at are proud to name you the SaxTalk Junior Saxophonist of the Month for May 2005.
- Sax Talk

"Smooth Jazz, the Next Generation"

September 21, 2005 – It’s a pretty safe bet to say any down to the bone smooth jazz fan would just love to say of an artist “I remember when he was just playing in the clubs.” There are more up and coming smooth jazz artists than you can count. But thanks to the efforts of a young musician from Southern California, there is a web site where these young virtuosos can “strut their stuff”, and where fans of the genre can watch for rising stars. Eighteen-year-old Shannon Kennedy, of Southern California, has created Shannon tells Smooth Jazz Now that the idea for originated when she began writing music articles for other young musicians. She decided that the site should be solely for other teen musicians, and started writing features on outstanding young players and offering room to other kids to have a page on Teen Jazz. Shannon, whose main instrument is the alto sax, also plays flute, soprano sax, tenor sax, bari sax, clarinet oboe, piccolo, and she also does some singing. She’s pretty proud of her site, which is the largest teen jazz web site, offering opportunities to kids to network, and share what they do. As for the future of the site, Shannon says, “I hope that it continues to grow in that direction and help the next generation of musicians to have an awareness of all the great music that is out there, and that they can be part of.” Shannon says she has received plenty of positive feedback. “Lots of older musicians are willing to help me out and contribute. The kids who have been on the site are ecstatic about the content and I have received hundreds of emails from people thanking me for taking the time to create Teen Jazz.” Check out Shannon’s site, Special guest musician for September is trumpet player, Greg Adams. - Smooth Jazz Now

"The Future Queen of Saxophone: A Biography of Shannon Kennedy"

One of the basic rules of writing and journalism is that a biography should be objective, impartial and devoid of emotion. Well there is also a rule that says rules are meant to be broken.

I enjoy writing very much and I could write one more dry biography of the great young saxophonist Shannon Kennedy in the style of most of the biographies that you see. However, to do so would not be an accurate biography of her in any way, shape, or form because Shannon Kennedy is anything but dry. She was one of the most genuine, cordial, sweet, and caring individuals that I have ever had the pleasure of interviewing. She has a quick wit, a keep philosophical mind, and I have NO doubt that she will not only be a great saxophonist, but she will succeed at anything that she puts her mind to.

The information in the biography was taken in two extensive telephone interviews that I did with Shannon. We talked for more than three hours with me scribbling in my notebook. So here is a biography of one of the future superstars of music, Ms. Shannon Kennedy.

Shannon Kennedy is a powerhouse of a musician. She started playing the flute in the seventh grade. She started later in music than many of the famous child prodigies, yet her rapid advancement in musical proficiency is nothing short of remarkable. While I was interviewing Shannon, she played me some of her recording over the phone and the thing that came across more than anything was her fantastic tone. Saxophonists with fantastic technique are a dime a dozen, but saxophonists that really sound good are very rare. Shannon Kennedy has the rare combination of killer chops and a killer sound.

After her first couple of years playing the flute, Shannon decided that she wanted to add the saxophone to her repertoire. She began playing the saxophone at the tender age of fourteen. The rest, as we say, is history. Shannon excelled at her new instrument and quickly became the best saxophonist in her school. Where others were satisfied with their playing, Shannon constantly strove to improve hers. One thing that really struck me about Ms. Kennedy is that she is extremely humble. She pushes herself to excel because, in her own words, “there are no limits”.

Shannon Kennedy honed her skills by playing in jazz and concert bands and attending summer band camps. Shannon also learned as much as she could about the music industry by attending music conventions such as IAJE. In the early years, Shannon would often practice eight or more hours a day, but her practice sessions are now much more focused and stress overcoming weaknesses instead of just practicing for practicing’s sake.

As with most people who are very good at one thing, Shannon Kennedy is very good at a lot of things. Not only does she play saxophone and flute, she plays oboe, clarinet, and sings as well. She played me a recording of herself on flute and she is a monster! She also does web design and she owns a reed case/saxophone accessory manufacturing company with her father. The only word that I could think of is “Renaissance Woman”. She does it all. She hosts her own web site,, and she composes music using her PC and Finale software.

I asked Ms. Kennedy what some of her non-music interests were, and she has quite a few. She played softball for nine years. She loves to run, she bike rides occasionally, and likes to do wood working. She also loves to write about a variety of topics.

Though biographies are supposed to be impartial, I feel very lucky to count Ms. Shannon Kennedy as one of my friends, and she is quite an inspiration indeed. She helps me believe that with hard work, anything is truly possible.

In closing, I would like to say that Shannon Kennedy is an amazing talent and she has a great head on her shoulders. She has received numerous honors including being named the SaxTalk Junior Saxophonist of the Month for May 2005. Shannon Kennedy is also a HollywoodWinds saxophone artist. We here at SaxTalk will certainly keep our eye on this amazing young lady, the future saxophone
- Sax Talk


N'Importe Quoi - Single (2013)
Behind Your Eyes (2012)
Almost That Time of Year (2008)
Never My Love (2007)
Steppin Up (2007)
Angel Eyes (2005)
Various EPs and Singles



Shannon Kennedy is a young female saxophonist playing in the smooth jazz, contemporary music, instrumental pop, traditional jazz and gospel music styles. She is a HollywoodWinds sax artist and Rico Junior Artist in Southern California playing soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute, clarinet, and occasionally oboe. As said by Bijon Watson, the music director at OCHSA, "Shannon Kennedy is a vital member of every ensemble that she participates in. She demonstrates great proficiency no matter what genre of music she is called upon to play..."

Performing regularly in venues in the Orange County, San Diego, and Los Angeles areas, Shannon is quickly gaining recognition as an up and coming saxophonist. In the words of Sax Talk’s Rex Djere, “Shannon Kennedy is a very talented young saxophonist who is taking the music world by storm. A native of Southern California, Kennedy’s musical rise has made her a force to be reckoned with.” She performs and shares the role as a leader in a blues band, performs with her own jazz quartet, and records in various music styles regularly.

“Angel Eyes”, Shannon Kennedy’s debut album, was released only a few months after her high school graduation in the summer of 2005. The album features an assorted mix of music from different genres recorded live in two days featuring Shannon’s abilities on flute, soprano and alto saxophones. The release of her second album will be in the late summer or early fall of 2006.

Shannon Kennedy began performing as a professional saxophonist at the age of fourteen. Since, she has performed with artists including Justo Almario, Rob Mullins, Carmen Bradford, Eric Marienthal, Greg Vail, Bill Cunliffe, etc. Dubbed the female smooth jazz saxophonist of the next generation by many, Shannon Kennedy looks forward to a career in saxophone performance. “[Shannon Kennedy] has a quick wit, a keen philosophical mind, and I have NO
doubt that she will not only be a great saxophonist...Shannon Kennedy has
the rare combination of killer chops and a killer sound...Shannon Kennedy is
an amazing talent..." – Rex Djere, Sax Talk