Sean J. Kennedy is equally at home on the concert stage or in the teaching studio. His drumset playing has been described as, “…very soulful,” by renowned bassist Will Lee, and jazz legend Dave Brubeck stated that Sean’s drumming, “… sounds like it should-- it swings!” To date, The Sean J. Kennedy Quartet has released two critically acclaimed CDs: Road to Wailea, and Queen Anne's Revenge. Due to the success of these recordings the quartet has performed on NBC television and was invited to open for Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Because of his versatility, Kennedy has also been able to record and perform with some of the world’s top jazz, classical and rock musicians, including Will Lee, Bob Mintzer, Liberty DeVitto, Richie Cannata, Ricky Byrd, Frank DiBussolo, Donald Nally and the late Dr. Frederick Fennell.
When not recording and performing with his own group, Kennedy is a busy freelance drumset and percussion artist. He has been the principal drumset player with The Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale since 2005, and can be heard on their new CD Celebrate the Sounds of the Season and seen performing with them on Good Morning America. In the fall of 2009 Kennedy was invited to perform with the critically acclaimed Video Games Live Orchestra, making stops in Philadelphia at The Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall and in New York City, on Broadway, at the legendary Beacon Street Theatre. Other prestigious venues which Kennedy has performed at include The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C, Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center, in New York City, The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland, World Café Live, Chris Jazz Café, and The Academy of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And since June 2011 one of Sean's side groups, The KAV Trio, has been the official band of The Philadelphia Phillies pre-game show "Behind the Pinstripes" with Scott Palmer, with frequent performances at Citizen's Bank Park. (They always swing, even if the ball players don't!)
In addition to performing, Kennedy has been teaching drums and percussion for nearly two decades and maintains a busy private studio. At home in the Philadelphia area, he is a secondary level instrumental music teacher, as well as a college-level music instructor. As a sought-after composer, he has also been commissioned on numerous occasions to create regional and state-level audition pieces. As an active clinician he has presented master classes for students in elementary through the university level. Recent clinic stops have included the Berks Jazz Festival in Reading, Pennsylvania and Fairfield-Ludlow High School’s Jazz Night Festival in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Kennedy’s pedagogical pursuits include writing two new drumset method books with rock drumming legend Liberty DeVitto entitled Rock Solid - Drums (Carl Fischer Music Publishing). This book is being used nationwide and has received glowing endorsements from Dame Evelyn Glennie, Bernard Purdie, and the Camp Jam and Little Kids Rock summer music programs. Modern Drummer Magazine awarded the book a coveted four star rating. The second book is for former drummers who miss jamming on the kit, entitled I Used to Play Drums: An Innovative Method for Adults Returning to Play. Kennedy has also been commissioned on multiple occasions by PMEA to compose regional and state-level percussion audition compositions for unaccompanied snare drum, mallet percussion and timpani.
Kennedy has a B.S. in Music Education and an M.M. in Percussion Performance from West Chester University, and is an Artist Endorser for Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Casio Keyboards and Evans Drumheads.
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