Jazz Fusion band YellowJackets, Will Kennedy (drums), Russell Ferrante (piano), Bob Mintzer (sax), and Dane Alderson (bass).
*“Every musician is blessed with a voice and a sound,” said drummer Will Kennedy, who is a member of the two-time Grammy Award-winning Jazz Fusion band YellowJackets whose newest album release “Parallel Motion” (Mack Avenue Records) recently received a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Instrument Album.
Will Kennedy is noted as one of the best drummers in the world. The other YellowJackets members are just as impressive, who include Bob Mintzer (sax), Dane Alderson (bass), and Russell Ferrante (piano/keys).
On the recent Grammy Award nomination for their 27th album “Parallel Motion,” to add to many others, Will said, “I’ll take it!”
Kennedy joined the YellowJackets in 1987, 10 years after the band was formed by Russell Ferrante (piano), Robben Ford (guitar), Jimmy Haslip (bass), and Ricky Lawson (drums). They debuted on Warner Bros. Records. Today, only Russell is an original member. Celebrating 46 years, the YellowJackets band has garnered a total of 13 Grammy nominations. The latest project, “Parallel Motion” (Mack Avenue Records), offers nine tracks.
Will Kennedy has been a member of the Jazz Fusion from 1987 – 1999 and then left for 11 years before returning in 2010. When Kennedy joined the band in 1987, they garnered Grammy nominations for the next three albums. As a drummer, Kennedy has played for Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Bobby McFerrin, Esperanza Spalding, and George Benson.
“I teach drumming at USC,” Kennedy told me. BTW, he is also a graduate of USC’s Thorton School of Music. “One of the things we discuss…is growing and nurturing your sound and your voice. The Lord gives you a gift to nurture and maximize.”
When discussing his 11-year split from the group Will said, “I left to step away for a moment. I became a member in my early 20s…it was time to exit for a period. I was blessed with the opportunity to do some things on TV, a daytime show – ‘Wayne Brady’s Show’. That was fun! I stepped into the belly of Hollywood. The show won four Emmys. The same year we won we were canceled. When Marcus Bailey stepped out (of the band)…someone got the idea of me filling the spot and here I am 10 years later.” www.YellowJackets.com www.MackAvenue.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Dr. Eunice Moseley has an estimated weekly readership of over one million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations and Business Management Strategist and Consultant at Freelance Associates and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 24th year. Next events are coming to Baltimore via Zoom Saturday April 15, 2023, and to Los Angeles via Zoom Saturday, November 11, 2023. The ULMII event is a free entertainment conference offering a Professional Industry Panel Q&A Session, a Professional Talent Showcase and National Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $17,500 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email info@ThePulseofEntertainment.com.
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