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Tom Kennedy is an American bassist and bassist of jazz and jazz fusion.
Son of a professional trumpeter, Tom Kennedy was a child prodigy. He had started on the double bass at the age of 9, and shortly after was already one of the most requested musicians in the local scene of his hometown, St. Louis. Before turning 18, Kennedy had a really enviable curriculum, which included performances by giants like Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Stan Kenton, James Moody, Barney Kessel, Eddie Harris, George Russel, Nat Adderly, Peter Erskine, Bill Watrous or Freddie Hubbard.
Kennedy’s interest had been directed towards acoustic jazz until he discovers the electric bass with 17 years old, being immediately fascinated by the possibilities that the new instrument acquired in the hands of Larry Graham, Louis Johnson or Stanley Clarke. from then on the interests of the musician would be divided between the more traditional jazz and the contemporary fusion-funk.
In 1984 he went to New York where he immediately made a hole as a bassist and bassist. Along with Dave Weckl (also from St. Louis) and guitarist Bill Connors forms a power trio called “Step It”. Peter Erskine introduces him to Mike Mainieri who accepts him as a bassist for his band Steps Ahead. At that time he also meets the Brazilian singer and pianist Tania Maria, with whom he began a professional relationship that would last about 10 years. Other artists with whom Kennedy works at this time are Don Grolnick, Steve Kahn, Randy Brecker, Benny Green, Bucky Pizzarelli, Al DiMeola, Steve Ferrone, Junior Cooke, to name but a few.
Tom Kennedy appears in the credits of each and every album by drummer Dave Weckl, from “Master Plan” (his debut in 1990) to the most recent “Multiplicity”. In 1997 he released his first solo album, which has collaborators of such high level as Dave Weckl, Tania Maria, Sammy Figueroa or his brother Ray Kennedy and is a good example of his versatility as a composer and performer. In 2004 he edits a second work in his name, this time in the sphere of acoustic jazz, called Bassics, and continues with his busy schedule next to musicians like Mike Stern or projects like the Birdland Big Band.
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