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Kenneth David Kirkland, 28 September 1955, New York City, New York, USA, d. 12 November 1998, New York City, New York, USA. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in 1977, Kirkland taught classical music for a period. His friendship with Herbie Hancock led to a growing interest in fusion He toured with violinist Michal Urbaniak in 1977, and joined Miroslav Vitous (ex-Weather Report) in 1979. Stints with drummer Elvin Jones and Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino followed, but it was with Wynton Marsalis (1981-85) that Kirkland gained his reputation as a skilful Hancock-influenced pianist, and led to him being in demand from a host of band leaders including Branford Marsalis and Chico Freeman. He left Wynton Marsalis to work with the rock singer/bass player Sting, and his work on 1985s The Dream Of The Blue Turtles was of particular note. He toured with Sting on several occasions, helping to widen the audience for his exquisite keyboard work....