Kenny Drew Jr. Biography

14 June 1958, New York City, New York, USA. Drew was taught piano from the age of five by his grandmother who had also taught his father, the jazz pianist Kenny Drew. He studied the classical repertoire with an aunt and did not take an interest in jazz and pop until he was in his late teens. He then played in funk bands, moving more positively into jazz in the mid-80s. He worked steadily in Florida, playing and recording with Charnett Moffett, who later became a member of Drew’s trio along with Cody Moffett, recording Rainbow Connection. In the meantime, Drew had toured with Stanley Jordan. In 1990 he won the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida, then played with several bands led by or featuring noted artists such as Ronnie Cuber, Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Steve Turre, Stanley Turrentine and Jack Walrath. In Australia in 1996, he played jazz and classical music at the Barossa Festival. He also began to work intermittently in a chamber music group with David Schnyder, also playing jazz with the saxophonist. Among other musicians with whom Drew has worked on his own recording sessions are Ravi Coltrane, bass player Peter Washington, Steve Wilson, Lynn Seaton and Marvin ‘Smitty’ Smith, the last two being for a while regular members of his trio. An elegant yet forceful pianist, throughout his career Drew has managed to avoid being compared to his father. His sources are far more eclectic although, in the broadest sense there are resemblances: the elegance, lightness of touch, and sheer musicality.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.