PressRelease of Behind Your Eyes
With the long awaited release of her newest album, Behind your Eyes, Shannon Kennedy demonstrates that she has both the endurance and the innovation to remain relevant in today’s music world.
The process of recording Behind Your Eyes was begun in 2010 and over the last two years she has released three of the album tracks: Falling Slowing, No One to Catch Me and Only One, as singles. Finalizing the project was put on hold when Shannon took some time to tour, to immerse herself in Celtic culture while earning a master’s degree at Queen’s College in Belfast, and to get married. The completed album—her fifth since her debut in 2005—is a remarkably sophisticated and diverse collection of mostly vocal music, all of which was well worth the wait.
Established as a saxophonist in the world of music since an early age, this newest album clearly showcases her strength as a singer-songwriter. With only one purely instrumental track (Falling Slowly) the songs are noticeably informed by her understanding of current European trends and her lifelong passion for acoustic folk music. Several tracks feature European folk instruments and she includes songs in both French and English. Contrasting these acoustic tracks are Only One and N'Importe Quoi wherein she explores contemporary Europop and electronic dance music styles. In addition to the mostly new material on the album, the inclusion of her new interpretation of the enormously popular Dead Man’s Party (Oingo Boingo) is refreshing and unexpected.
The musicians who perform with Shannon on Behind Your Eyes are as progressive and eclectic as the music they recorded together. A few musicians from her previous albums make appearances including Kurt Hamernick (drums), Spenser Bishop (drums), Thomas Drayton (bass), and John Gregorius (guitar). New guests include a few musicians from Europe such as Ioannis Tsiolakis (keyboards) and U-Nam (guitar and bass).
Beyond the clear French and folk music inspiration, her lifelong passion for music, all music, is clearly evident on this album. In Shannon’s work, she has internalized the influence of all the great artists she had the opportunity to discover before and while living in Europe. As for the new vocal direction she is taking as an artist Shannon states “Singing and songwriting has opened up a lot of really great opportunities for me and I am so excited to share this new aspect of my musical identity with my friends and fans. It has been an amazing experience working on the music from this album and hearing it all come together."
Behind your Eyes defies classification into any one genre. Her use of timbres is deeply evocative, and the album as a whole is a cinematic marriage of jazz, pop, folk, and global music. Clearly her own experience has deeply affected her understanding of the world and of music. This new perspective is readily apparent in her work as she demonstrates the ability to take risks and to challenge her abilities by exploring new artistic mediums. This sentiment is captured in a line from a track on the new album, No One to Catch Me: “I’m not the kind of girl who falls this hard- especially when there’s no one to catch me.” Here in a single phrase she has summed up the ideology of this album and of her future. Shannon can do anything she wants and she has demonstrated that she doesn’t need anyone to catch her as she can catch herself.
Shannon Kennedy will release "Behind Your Eyes" and to support the release, she will return to the stage touring December 2012 and throughout 2013.
Introducing new group - K.A.S.E. 87
New group K.A.S.E. 87 releases their first single entitled ‘Fashionable’
Two artists are better than one: new collaboration K.A.S.E. 87 brings two smooth jazz artists together to create the ‘sound of 2011’
Los Angeles, CA - January 30, 2011 – the first single ‘Fashionable’ by K.A.S.E. 87 is sure to be a huge hit for music fans. A collaboration by French guitarist/producer U-Nam (#1 Hit on the Billboard Charts in 2007) and up and coming saxophonist/singer Shannon Kennedy, ‘Fashionable’ features the emergence of their two diverse styles into one, creating the ‘sound of 2011’ – a fusion of contemporary jazz, hip hop and electro.
The new single is available now on iTunes and most online distributors such as Rhapsody, Amazon, and CDBaby.
An Inside Look Into Their Upcoming Album
Two artists are better than one – Shannon Kennedy and U-Nam have come together to give listeners twice the listening pleasure with the perfect combination of both sultry and playful saxophone with catchy and virtuosic guitar. After this first release, listeners won’t be able to wait for more.
‘Fashionable’ is a fresh, hard-hitting song with the guitar and saxophone intertwining and playfully exchanging the melody and solos throughout. If one imagines George Benson and David Sanborn colliding with the music of Daft Punk and the Black Eyed Peas, well, then they would be imagining something near the hip sound and style of ‘Fashionable’.
K.A.S.E. 87’s first release is an original composition and a brilliant introduction for the new group with its modern sound, catchy hook and jazzy improvisation.
K.A.S.E. 87’s music is unique, innovative and filled with emotion. It explores new horizons while demonstrating that contemporary jazz can appeal to a younger crowd and still please its established fans.
The single has already been receiving airplay on several online stations and has been featured and reviewed on several music sites; Renaissance Radio has already guaranteed a feature of the song and group on their successful YouTube channel. The full album is due out later in 2011 and will feature a collection of new and original music as well as innovative and creative versions of popular hits from the 80s. Summer 2011, the band also launches its tour of the new material throughout the US and more as further dates materialize.
For More Information : firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information and booking information on K.A.S.E. 87 visit their web site at
Press release by Rileigh Thompson, www.angeleyesmusic.com
New Single - The Lost Voyage
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cyrene Jagger
A preview of Shannon Kennedy’s upcoming EP ‘L’Hiver’ already receiving positive results
Kennedy’s explorations in new format proving popular amongst music listeners
Los Angeles, CA - January 30, 2011 – After the success of her first EP in the neo-classical genre, L’Automne, Kennedy releases the first single from her new EP L’Hiver to an excited audience. As part of an experimental series, Shannon Kennedy has been exploring a new style of composition unfamiliar to her smooth jazz and pop background, confirming her versatility and talent as a composer and artist. The Lost Voyage is the most powerful of her programmatic, contemporary classical music yet, and makes for an exhilarating introduction of what’s to come.
Les Saisons – A Programmatic Soundtrack to the Composer’s Life
The music from Les Saisons, is based on true events from the composer’s life, giving listeners an inside look into the personal, real, and uninhibited emotions of Shannon Kennedy through her music. The debut EP, L’Automne, featured music inspired by a fairy-tale trip to Paris (Maisons-Alfort), an upcoming move to Ireland (Gaelic Spring), a heroic confession of love (Manu’s Theme), and a pensive, yet romantic expression of emotion and self-reflection (I Am). Revealing the struggle and fear of one leaving one’s home and moving to another country is The Lost Voyage, the first single from her follow-up EP L’Hiver, due Summer 2011.
Prior to the release of the single, a promotional video was created and posted online to glowing reviews. United States: ‘Awesome song....!!!! Love it, can not wait to hear more;’ United Kingdom: ‘Sounds pretty epic;’ Portugal: ‘I'm so looking forward to it;’ and United States: ‘love it, great job;’ confirming the excitement and anticipation of its release by listeners across the globe.
Alicia Doyle of AllMusicReview.com also noticed Kennedy’s developed maturity and ability as a composer. ‘Shannon Kennedy's latest creation, "The Lost Voyage" shows a sophistication and elegance that belies her omnivorous appreciation and understanding of the worlds of music. A mixture of folk, classical and filmic stylistic characteristics, the dramatic work reveals the artist's compositional maturation. The work is dominated by a steady driving ostinato in combination with powerful and dense harmonies. This ominous ostinato theme is dark and in the narrative seems relentless, however periodically the foreboding tone is unexpectedly contrasted with welcome sections of sonic of repite. The eclectic orchestration, the filmic drama, and the edgy ostinato serve to make this a highly descriptive, visually inspiring soundscape.’
The Lost Voyage is now available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and other online music retailers. You can visit www.shannon-kennedy.com for more information on the composer and the music. In addition to The Lost Voyage, up coming music by Shannon Kennedy include Fashionable – a new single with K.A.S.E. 87 due Feb 2011, L’Hiver her follow-up EP due Summer 2011, and Behind Your Eyes due Winter 2011.
To view the promotional video created for the release of The Lost Voyage, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfDCn_6vzUs.
For a chance to win a free MP3, you can watch the video and vote for a song title here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfkLCZ7jJy4.
For More Information
For additional information and booking information on Shannon Kennedy visit her web site at www.shannon-kennedy.com.
The Lost Voyage was programmed and composed by Shannon Kennedy. It was mixed and mastered by U-Nam (www.unamprod.com).
Press release by Rileigh Thompson, www.angeleyesmusic.com
New EP L'Automne Now Available
A preview of some of the music from the album by Alicia Doyle.
Shannon Kennedy’s Maisons-Alfort from L’Automne is a dreamlike foray into the world of contemporary classical music. Purely instrumental, the work is harmonically driven, with a comfortingly gentle waltz-like rhythmic flow. The exquisitely quiet French character is subtly established by the use of accordion within the simple sectional structure. The nostalgic tone established by the harp at the outset lets the listener know that they are being allowed a glimpse of a private, sweetly tender and romantic memory. In this work, Kennedy creates for us an aural postcard, in which she reminisces about a calm and quaint, yet altogether pleasant Parisian experience. Maisons-Alfort is the first EP from the collection Les Saisons.
Much darker in tone than Maisons-Alfort, the ominous I Am is rich in suspense and intrigue. In a straight forward three-part form, the work is a continuously building crescendo that Kennedy methodically creates through the interaction of dynamics and instrumentation. Ambiguously programmatic, but clearly conflict-centered, this journey begins with carefully orchestrated use of Eastern percussion and a hauntingly dark and rich string melody. To this simple, yet foreboding texture, Kennedy soon adds an evocative contrapuntal dialog between the celesta and the piano. A brief reprise from the tension is unexpectedly found in the more optimistic B section, wherein a harmonic shift eases the intensity while the cello line supports the lyrical piano melody and the drum kit provides a soothing, laid-back groove. The original emotional struggle depicted in the beginning, however, is reintroduced in the concluding section, this time with the brilliant use of military percussion that serves to relentlessly drive the work towards the clearly unavoidable climax.
With the Spartan texture that introduces the work, consisting first of worldless choral singing followed by penny whistle and bass drum, Kennedy’s L’Automne instantly brings to mind the deserted landscape of fall. Here again, the subtle use of harp indicates that the listener is being invited to share in a quiet moment, a personal reflection upon growth and change. This introspective work is solitary, but not joyless. It is, in fact, a perfect sonic image of contentment and peace, a testament to a transcendent awareness of limitless possibilities all of which is supported by the unexpectedly open ended conclusion.
Falling Slowly - New Single Available Now!
Falling Slowly Press Release
By: Alicia Doyle, www.allmusicreview.com
Falling Slowly, Shannon Kennedy’s single from Behind Your Eyes, is an elegant and sophisticated instrumental tribute to the Oscar Award winning tune of the same name by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Written for the film Once (2007), the song has since received continuous recognition through its performance in popular television programs such as The Simpsons, So You Think You Can Dance, and American Idol.
While Shannon follows the original composition closely in terms of the melody and verse structure, she produces a fresh sound by turning the originally lyric-driven duet into an instrumental work. The resulting success is largely due to her substitution of a plaintive flute line for the highly charged and emotional vocal line of the original song. Despite the fact that none of the lyrics are present in her version, the melancholic sentiment of the film remains clear. Shannon’s is not a complex arrangement, but rather of subtle beauty. Well-placed turns and controlled runs serve to engage the listener in the piece, while not detracting from the message of the melody.
Shannon’s recording of this particular work belies her deep love for both Irish folk music and cinematic music. These two themes, driving forces in her artistic ventures, are understandably a part of the inspiration of the original song, and are clearly at home in her release.
The work is arranged by Shannon and features her performing on accordion, flute, keyboards, oboe and vocals. Thomas Drayton provided the bass.
Release of Shannon’s New Single “No One To Catch Me”
Web Site Information: www.shannon-kennedy.com
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Los Angeles, CA -- June 03, 2010 - No One to Catch Me, Shannon Kennedy’s latest single is a catchy, fun, and refreshing vocal piece reflective of the eclectic music of the melting pot generation. This growing wave of musicians is known for music that seemingly escapes the identifying sound of any one specific genre. No One to Catch Me is consistent with this revolution with its folk, pop, and country influences, yet unique and indefinable sound.
Best known to audiences as a saxophonist, Shannon Kennedy has succeeded in surprising listeners with this new release. Contrary to her previous vocal releases, Almost that Time of Year and Santa Baby, which still featured a saxophone dominant horn section, there isn’t a single saxophone or flute on the track. Accompanied by
Spenser Bishop on drums, Thomas Drayton on bass, and John Gregorius on guitar, Kennedy sings of unrequited love in an ironically upbeat and refreshing manner sure to have you singing along by the second chorus.
No One to Catch Me is the first release from Shannon’s upcoming album Behind Your Eyes. The second single, Falling Slowly is a heartfelt, instrumental version of the popular song from the movie Once. It will be released in the next few weeks.
If you’ve enjoyed No One to Catch Me as much as we have, be sure to vote for it to appear on Shannon Kennedy’s EP. All voters receive an exclusive, previously unreleased song for participating.
More about Shannon Kennedy:
In the meantime, you can download Shannon’s new single at any of these download sites:
Download No One To Catch Me on iTunes
Download on Amazon
Download on CD Baby
Shannon Kennedy Latest Single - Maisons-Alfort
After exploring several different genres of music such as jazz, smooth jazz, and pop as both a composer and performer, Shannon Kennedy has emerged herself into the film score genre, displaying her diversity as a songwriter.
Her latest works are piano and orchestra driven compositions and Kennedy’s debut as not only a contemporary classical artist, but as a keyboardist as well. Her latest single, Maisons-Alfort, truly exemplifies this new, creative, and exciting path Shannon Kennedy has embarked upon.
A film score-esque composition, reflective of early to mid 1900s French folk music, Maisons-Alfort creates images of a romantic French café scene in the minds of listeners. Its light, playful melodies are traded between the accordion and the childbox in an almost conversational manner, drawing the audience into the story being told. Accompanied by strings, piano, and drums, the piece grabs hold of the listener’s attention and maintains it with moments of tension and release.
Maisons-Alfort is the first single from Kennedy’s upcoming album, Unfinished Compositions, a contemporary classical collection of original compositions. Unlike the title implies, each of the pieces that will be featured on the album are not, in fact, “unfinished”. As said by Shannon in an interview, “Contrary to the title, the pieces aren't actually unfinished, but are "samples" of a new part of my musical library and repertoire.”
Almost That Time of Year - the New Christmas Classic by Shannon Kennedy
Los Angeles, CA -- December 1, 2009 - Jazz Saxophonist, Shannon Kennedy announces her special holiday CD release “Almost That Time of Year”, through Angel Eyes Creations Records.
“Almost That Time of Year” is Shannon Kennedy's debut Christmas Album that showcases her skills as a unique and gifted vocalist. The album includes two of her own original Christmas songs, Almost That Time of Year and The Greatest Gift. In addition to a collection of traditional carols and contemporary seasonal music; such as Joni Mitchell's River and Michael Bolton's Our Love is Like a Holiday.
The holiday album also features several well-known artists in the smooth jazz genre including Special EFX guitarist and band leader, Chieli Minucci, on Carol of the Bells. Greg Adams, from Tower of Power appears with Shannon on Baby It's Cold Outside, lending his sensitive trumpet playing to accompany Shannon on soprano saxophone. Peter White joins Shannon on the record including playing piano on River and Baby It's Cold Outside. Chicago's sultry guitarist, Nick Colionne, is featured on Santa Baby.
“Almost That Time of Year” exemplifies Shannon's skill as a producer, musician, and recording artist. Each song in this holiday collection captures the magic of Christmas in a unique style. The title track Almost That Time of Year is destined to become the new Christmas classic!
"I really enjoyed creating my own interpretations of Christmas music," said Kennedy. "I had the opportunity to work with a lot of fantastic musicians on the album; they truly brought the arrangements on my album to life."
“Almost That Time of Year” features Contemporary vocals and instrumental twists on classic Christmas music and New Christmas Classic originals by sax player/vocalist Shannon Kennedy.
CD Track listing
1. Carol of the Bells Medley
2. Our Love is Like a Holiday
3. Almost That Time of Year
4. Coventry Carol
6. Mary Did You Know
7. Greatest Gift
8. Do You Hear What I Hear
9. Santa Baby
10. Baby It’s Cold Outside
11. Where Are You Christmas
About Shannon Kennedy
Best known to audiences throughout Southern California as a powerhouse saxophonist, the wildly ambitious multi-talented musician has added numerous instruments to her palette, including piano, pennywhistle and even Native American flute. On her upcoming fifth self-produced recording “Behind Your Eyes”, Shannon is also stepping out more than ever before as a compelling lead vocalist.
Her expansion into the rock and urban markets with this breakthrough vocal tune builds on her enormous popularity in the jazz world via live solo performances at hotspots like Antonucci’s in Mission Viejo, CA and the The Merc in Temecula, CA at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater, where she plays straight-ahead jazz. She also has played venues like Anaheim’s House of Blues with the popular O.C. based Sade tribute band Taboo, with whom she also shot a TV pilot. While showcasing her talents on all four saxes (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone) and flute, her early 2007 album “Steppin’ Up” hinted at all of the diversity to come, with forays into pop, blues, funk, gospel, old school pop-soul and even more exotic influences like calypso, tango and bossa nova. She’s developed her world music chops further by doing workshops and playing with the Southern California based flamenco-global fusion band Incendio.
“I never get tired of traveling and playing music for people in various settings,” Shannon says. “Nothing is more fun than going on tour. When I was 15, I went to an arts high school and we did shows all around the country… Still, as much as I enjoy performing onstage and with different artists and groups, my first love is the studio. I love writing, recording and putting songs together.”
While continuing to develop her career as a solo artist and performer, she is also busy working on numerous extracurricular activities; writing and producing with pop/rock artists, writing and performing soundtrack and pop/contemporary music on her favorite new instrument, the piano.
Shannon Kennedy’s Discography
Almost That Time of Year – 2008
Never My Love – 2007
Steppin Up – 2007
Angel Eyes – 2005
For more information: http://www.shannon-kennedy.com/
SOURCE: Angel Eyes – Shannon Kennedy is available for interviews and booking by contacting email@example.com
Jazz Monthly Interview
"Jazz Monthly Feature Interview" Shannon Kennedy
By: Baldwin “Smitty” Smith
Smitty: I am very excited to welcome to Jazz Monthly for the very first time a great young saxophonist. She’s a native of Southern California; she’s produced her first CD; it’s called Angel Eyes, and what’s so cool is she released this CD just months after her high school graduation. Please welcome Ms. Shannon Kennedy. Shannon, how are you?
Shannon Kennedy (SK): I’m good, Smitty, thanks. How are you?
Smitty: I’m wonderful. Thank you. You have so much going on. My goodness! You’re playing instrumental pop, you’re playing contemporary music, smooth jazz, blues, you’ve produced a CD that is great, and you’re working on some other projects, you’re co-producing a CD. Talk to me about your CD, Angel Eyes. Now, this is your first album and how are you feeling about this first album?
SK: I feel that it reflects my ability at the time very well. I actually ended up doing the CD as an accident ‘cause I talked with one of my teachers about recording a CD and he took me seriously and he said “Yeah, okay, we’ll get you in the studio” and it never happened, so I started talking to some of the kids that I know, and the next thing I knew, we were picking out a list of songs to record and we went in the studio for two days, we recorded the CD live, we had about three hours each day, we spent the first hour rehearsing and the second two hours recording it in the basement studio at my high school, and it was a lot of fun. I was in the booth and everyone else was back behind the glass, and it was really hard because the first day we only had two sets of headphones, so it was really hard to follow each other, but we managed to do it and it was a lot of fun.
Smitty: When you first began put this record together, talk about how you selected the songs for this first project.
SK: It’s funny. How I selected the songs…well, I pretty much picked songs that I knew. Actually, there’s one song on the CD I hadn’t played before the recording. All the rest of the songs I learned just for the CD.
Smitty: How were you able to manage other activities?
SK: Well, I went to the Orange County High School of the Arts, which is a school specifically for future artists, musicians, etc., and we were always in the environment of putting things together sort of last minute and just pulling things out of the hat like a magic kind of thing, and it was a spur-of-the-moment thing with the production and design crew at the school, so we brought in a kid to engineer the CD and the band’s all kids I went to high school with and I brought in my saxophone teacher, Greg Vail, and he supervised everything and we pretty much just did it all on our own.
Smitty: So Greg Vail was in on this, huh?
Smitty: That’s pretty cool. Yeah, he’s a great sax player, isn’t he?
Smitty: You’re also working on some other things. I know you’re a Web designer so you’ve designed some Web sites for some of your colleagues, including your own Web sites as well.
SK: Yes. When I was first starting on saxophone and I was taking lessons with Greg, his son, who is my age was always working on his Web site, so I had him teach me html and I just kinda took off with it. I design Web sites for him now and for other young musicians. The first website that I designed was
www.teenjazz.com. It started out as a Web site for my band when I was a sophomore in high school which was called Night Vision and the url NightVision.com was already taken, so I chose Teen Jazz and after a while I figured with a url like that….and I was already writing articles that were pretty much advice articles for young musicians, I decided to gear the purpose of that Web site towards other young musicians my age. I had the advantage of going to an art school and meeting a lot of musicians who had already been auditioning for a while. That helped me out a lot and I know that the average kid doesn’t have that, so I tried to create a place for them to go and, in a way, have the same help that I had starting out.
Smitty: That was very cool, to be a resource for others, so this wasn’t just about you, but you recognized the need for fellow musicians to have the resources that you had. When you released your first CD, what was the reaction from the rest of the band? Talk about the whole experience of finishing and releasing the CD.
SK: Well, as far as releasing the CD, it was kind of stressing because the people we took it to for printing, they did a really good job but it took awhile. So I was just so glad to finally have them, and we scheduled a release date. My high school teacher booked a club near our school….and I play there every month….and the first date I ever had there was the CD release party and it happened to be the day after my birthday, so there was a really good crowd there. It was “Come to Shannon’s CD Release Party/Birthday Party” and there were a lot of people there and it was a lot of fun, and I used the band that was on the CD. We played the songs off the CD and then three hours worth of other music, everyone was really happy and proud that I was able to do that at such a young age, and I felt it was….personally a really big accomplishment for me.
It was very exciting. It was a very different experience for me because it was the first gig that I’d ever been the leader. I’ve always just gone to someone else’s gig, brought a sax and a mike, plugged into their P.A. and played. At this one I had to bring my own P.A., I had to set up all the mikes, get their early, rehearse with the band, and I had never had to do any of that before. I don’t even own my own P.A. system so, of course, I had to borrow someone else’s. Because I didn’t own a P.A. system, I didn’t know how to set it up, so I had to have someone else set the P.A. up for me.
Smitty: Very cool. As far as the record itself, when you first put this whole record together, were you thinking about just playing the alto or the baritone or the tenor? What was your concept of putting this record together? Did you want to do just a straight alto sax record or were you thinking about mixing in soprano and some other saxophones in there?
SK: On the record I play alto sax, soprano sax, and flute, but initially all the songs that we recorded, they’re not all on the CD, but I play tenor, alto, soprano and the flute. I didn’t play bari sax yet. I actually only started about six months ago. So I played everything, but the tenor track I ended up not being happy with, so I just put the other stuff on it. And the arrangements on the songs I pretty much came up with the night before the first recording, just singing the melodies to the songs and thinking about how I would like to play each song and singing a drum beat feel.
And as far as picking the instrument, I pretty much chose the songs to the instrument. Like “Friends and Strangers” I did on flute, which Ronnie Laws did on saxophone, but I had heard other people play it live and I had only heard it on flute. I actually didn’t hear the Ronnie Laws version of the song until the first day of the recording. And I did “Maputo,” which David Sanborn recorded, and I did more of a rock feel rather than the more Smooth Jazz feel that he does. “Song for My Father,” which is a song that I’ve always played whenever I go to sit in….not anymore but at the time….and I’ve always played it on alto and Greg’s always played it on bari, so I thought it would be cool to do it on the album the same way. And “Infant Eyes,” which I play on soprano, we picked that song because we were trying to think of a ballad that would sound really good on alto or soprano, and we ended up picking that song and I played soprano, and that’s pretty much how I decided which instruments I was playing on which song.
Smitty: Very cool. You’ve drawn some serious inspirations from some great artists as far as your career is concerned. Who’s your greatest influence?
SK: I can’t really say I have one. I’ve been influenced by Kenny Garrett, Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, Kurt Elling, Greg Vail, of course Michael Brecker, Vincent Herring, but I would have to say that if I had to pick one person, I would pick Greg Vail just because he’s the one who taught me how to play the saxophone, he’s always been around, he’s always supported me, he’s always helped me out as much as he could, he’s introduced me to people who have helped me out or who have worked with me, and he lets me play at all of his gigs and vice versa, and so he’s always just tried to push me out there and help me get as much exposure as I can, and he’s just also a great player, so he’s a really good person to be around and to listen to.
Smitty: Well, that’s cool. Well, we’ll have to give Greg a nice thumbs up. You have gotten off to a fast start with your career and you’ve crossed genres with your music. What would you say to other musicians your age about getting their career off to a good start? What advice would you give them?
SK: Well, something I notice with a lot of my friends or kids my age is that they sit around and wait for someone to call them, and it just doesn’t work that way. You have to get out there, go sit in wherever you can, play with as many people as you can, look at yourself as a leader because when you’re starting out people aren’t going hire you because there’s much better musicians out there, so you should get out there and book gigs and hire other people. It’s the easiest way to start working. And, you know, it’s just a matter of trying to do things yourself because no one’s going to do them for you.
Smitty: Excellent but very true and very well said. That’s excellent advice for all musicians, really, when you think about it. You’ve got, what, three or four Web sites.
SK: I have four Web sites.
Smitty: Let’s talk about Teen Jazz. Teen Jazz basically does what for the artist?
SK: Teen Jazz…I try to push it as a teen resource and networking Web site. It has helpful music-related articles of concert reviews, instrument/gear reviews, interviews with professional musicians Greg Adams, Mindi Abair, Carol Kaye, Terry Lyne Carrington, etc.; it’s got interviews with young musicians, very accomplished young musicians like Alex Han, Isaiah Morfin; and it offers a place for kids to go and kinda get their name out there. There’s an application they can apply to become a Teen Jazz artist, to get a feature on the page with a one-page bio, a photograph, contact information, whatever they want essentially.
Smitty: Very cool. And then there’s www.shannon-kennedy.com
SK: Yes, that’s my personal Web site. It’s been redesigned approximately ten times now. I think I’m happy with the way it looks right now finally. Well, that site’s pretty much my personal Web site. It talks about my CD, it talks about some of the things that I do and have done, it talks about what I’m planning on doing in the future, it has my press kit, my performance schedule, photographs, pretty much anything you’d want to know about me is on the site.
Smitty: Nice! And, now, talk about the other two you have.
SK: The other two…one is www.kenkasemusic.com, which is a reed case company that my dad and I started when I was 16. There are a lot of reed cases out on the market for woodwind players and they’re really expensive. So one day my dad, when I needed one, decided to start making them instead of having to spend the money to buy them, and it just….everyone started wanting them, so we started Ken Kase Music and that’s the Web site for that. And the other Web site is www.angeleyesmusic.com, which is my record label.
Smitty: So you have your own record label. You are some go-getter, you know that? All right. So, now, have you been able to advise some of your teen friends as far as starting the record label?
SK: I’ve had some of my friends ask me about getting into the studio and recording and what it’s like, and pretty much with the record label since I can’t really afford to be a real record label and fund projects, I pretty much….the Web site for the record label’s just to kind of push my friends’ CD’s, so I put them up, add them to the catalog, I do the artwork and design for all the CD’s on the record label. It’s pretty much just….the record label just shows my involvement with the different projects, which is just try and help other people out.
Smitty: That’s very cool of you to do that. Talk to me a little bit about your sponsors. Rico Reeds, right?
Smitty: So tell me how that came about.
SK: I have two endorsements. I have one with Hollywood Winds Saxophones. I got that one a little over a year ago when the company was Unison Saxophones. I met Rheuben Allen and Shun Hwa Chang, who owned Unison, and they found out that I played Unison Saxophones and they approached me about sponsorship and I said “Of course, I’d love to,” and I recorded my CD and they heard it and they were amazed, when they switched companies to Hollywood Winds, or changed their name, they kept me as an artist, and when they were Unison, I played soprano and tenor for them, but as Hollywood Winds I’m actually their bari sax artist, so Rheuben is very impressed with my bari playing.
And the other one is with Rico, or D’Addario. I actually just got the contract for that, but I’ve been an unofficial kind of pseudo artist with them since this last summer; I’m one of three junior artists for Rico. There’s Alex Han, Isaiah Morfin and myself. And with Rico, that came about because I played in a band with someone who works with Rico’s son, and I use Rico reeds and I made a few calls and I asked about the possibility of being signed as an artist, and they said they would be interested in having me as an artist, and that’s pretty much how that happened.
Smitty: Nice! You’ve gotta be excited about having that kind of support.
SK: Yes, I am. It’s really great because it just shows that pretty much anything is possible as long as you just try. It’s just getting out there and doing it.
Smitty: Yes. So talk to me about where Shannon Kennedy goes from here.
SK: Well, for a while I wanted to own my own record label. For now I know that I just want to perform, get out there and play. I intend to be a contemporary saxophone player, Smooth Jazz. I have the ability to be a straight ahead saxophone player, it’s just I enjoy playing contemporary music more. And I feel I should play festivals, play at clubs, and I hope to play with some of my influences, like I’d love to play with Mindi Abair, Kirk Whalum or Kurt Elling, people like that.
Smitty: Oh yeah, I’m sure that will come in time. How can people get your CD?
SK: Right now it’s on CD Baby at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/shannonkennedy/
Smitty: Very cool. Do you prefer the live performance or the studio?
SK: Well, they’re both very different, but I would have to say that I like performing live more because there’s just so much energy that you get from a live audience that you don’t get in the studio. But when you’re in the studio recording and then there’s an actual product that you can hold in your hand afterwards and you can say “I did this,” it kind of is more of a physical accomplishment where you can give this to people and say “Look, this is me” or driving in your car and hear yourself or be at the dentist’s office and all of a sudden you hear yourself on the radio…that’s amazing. And then just going out and playing in front of people and having people just enjoy your music so much and what you’re doing and just admire you for that, and then having people come up and tell you how much they love hearing you play, so they’re both very unique and very enjoyable.
Smitty: Yes. Well, Shannon, I can’t thank you enough for sharing this great story with us and talking about your music and your career and what you have coming down the road. I think we can look for some very wonderful music from you in the future and I certainly wish you well with this project and your projects of the future. All right, we have been talking with a very young talent, Ms. Shannon Kennedy. Once again, her debut album is called Angel Eyes. Look for her at a venue in Southern California and beyond in the near future. Shannon thanks again for such a wonderful time.
SK: Thank you very much for having me.
Rico Welcomes Rising Saxophonist
Rico Welcomes Rising Saxophonist Shannon Kennedy to The Rico Performing Artist Roster
FARMINGDALE, NY, July 13, 2006 - Well-known saxophonist Shannon Kennedy has joined the ranks of the pros at Rico. The California-based Kennedy is well known not only for her groundbreaking sax style but her commitment to outreach and educational programs for teens and aspiring musicians.
"Shannon is a rare breed in todays music industry," said Robert Polan, Rico Brand Manager. "She has accomplished so much at 18 and is really the leader in connecting the music industry to aspiring young players. Her outreach to upcoming players is a true inspiration to future professionals."
Shannon began singing at age four, and by six was lugging around an acoustic guitar to and from school and the beach, emulating her early singer-songwriter influences like Jewel and Tracy Chapman. In junior high, she began to play flute and at the age of 12, Shannon began composing on piano and flute. Shannon soon picked up the saxophone and found her true passion in jazz sax. She is currently a student at California State University, Long Beach as a saxophone performance and jazz studies major. Her debut CD Angel Eyes was launched earlier this year.
Kennedy recently created www.teenjazz.com an idea that originated when she began writing advice articles for other young musicians. She decided that the site should be solely for other teen musicians, and started writing features on outstanding young players and offering room to other kids and teens to have a page on Teen Jazz offering opportunities to kids to network and share their musical experiences.
"I am happy to be part of the talent of the Rico family," said Kennedy. "I know their dedication to community and music is as strong as the one I have, and I am sure it will be a wonderful relationship."
Shannon uses Rico Plasticover tenor and alto saxophone reeds.
For more information about Rico products, visit www.ricoreeds.com.
J. D'Addario & Company, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets complete lines of strings for fretted and bowed musical instruments, drumheads, drum practice pads, and guitar and woodwind accessories under the proprietary brand names DAddario, Evans Drumheads, Planet Waves, Rico, and HQ Percussion. The company also runs the popular Gbase.com online gear source.
J. D'Addario products are marketed in approximately 120 countries.
Never My Love CD Release
Shannon Kennedy - Never My Love
November 6th, 2007 by hbh
Never My Love
Never My Love is Saxophonist Shannon Kennedy’s third album. Never My Love was released only nine months after the successful release of her sophomore album Steppin Up on the Angel Eyes Creations Record Label. This album features Shannon on saxophone, flute, bass, and keyboards. Guests on the album include Greg Vail, Peter White, Stefan Lexner, Drew Simpson, Dan Reckard, Bob Fazio, and Tyler Hindsley.
Shannon Kennedy is a young female saxophonist playing in the smooth jazz, contemporary music, instrumental pop, traditional jazz and gospel music styles. She is a Rheuben Allen sax artist and Rico Junior Artist in Southern California playing soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute, clarinet, and occasionally oboe. As said by Bijon Watson, the music director at OCHSA where Shannon attended high school, “Shannon Kennedy is a vital member of every ensemble that she participates in. She demonstrates great proficiency no matter what genre of music she is called upon to play…”
Performing regularly in venues in the Orange County, San Diego, and Los Angeles areas, Shannon is quickly gaining recognition as an up and coming saxophonist. In the words of Sax Talk’s Rex Djere, “Shannon Kennedy is a very talented young saxophonist who is taking the music world by storm. A native of Southern California, Kennedy’s musical rise has made her a force to be reckoned with.” She performs and shares the role as a leader in a blues band, performs with her own jazz quartet, and records in various music styles regularly.
Angel Eyes, Shannon Kennedy’s debut album, was released only a few months after her high school graduation in the summer of 2005. The album features an assorted mix of music from different genres recorded live in two days featuring Shannon’s abilities on flute, soprano and alto saxophones.
The release of her second album, Steppin Up, January 20, 2007,featured her skills as a performer, arranger, composer, producer, and graphic designer. Steppin Up features Shannon on flute, clarinet, acoustic guitar, keyboards, soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax, and bari sax. The CD also features several guest artists including Peter White and Kirk Whalum.
More information about Shannon Kennedy at her website.
Sax Talk Article
The Future Queen of Saxophone: A Biography of Shannon Kennedy
By: Rex Djere, SaxTalk
One of the basic rules of writing and journalism is that a biography should be objective, impartial and devoid of emotion. Well there is also a rule that says rules are meant to be broken.
I enjoy writing very much and I could write one more dry biography of the great young saxophonist Shannon Kennedy in the style of most of the biographies that you see. However, to do so would not be an accurate biography of her in any way, shape, or form because Shannon Kennedy is anything but dry. She was one of the most genuine, cordial, sweet, and caring individuals that I have ever had the pleasure of interviewing. She has a quick wit, a keep philosophical mind, and I have NO doubt that she will not only be a great saxophonist, but she will succeed at anything that she puts her mind to.
The information in the biography was taken in two extensive telephone interviews that I did with Shannon. We talked for more than three hours with me scribbling in my notebook. So here is a biography of one of the future superstars of music, Ms. Shannon Kennedy.
Shannon Kennedy is a powerhouse of a musician. She started playing the flute in the seventh grade. She started later in music than many of the famous child prodigies, yet her rapid advancement in musical proficiency is nothing short of remarkable. While I was interviewing Shannon, she played me some of her recording over the phone and the thing that came across more than anything was her fantastic tone. Saxophonists with fantastic technique are a dime a dozen, but saxophonists that really sound good are very rare. Shannon Kennedy has the rare combination of killer chops and a killer sound.
After her first couple of years playing the flute, Shannon decided that she wanted to add the saxophone to her repertoire. She began playing the saxophone at the tender age of fourteen. The rest, as we say, is history. Shannon excelled at her new instrument and quickly became the best saxophonist in her school. Where others were satisfied with their playing, Shannon constantly strove to improve hers. One thing that really struck me about Ms. Kennedy is that she is extremely humble. She pushes herself to excel because, in her own words, “there are no limits”.
Shannon Kennedy honed her skills by playing in jazz and concert bands and attending summer band camps. Shannon also learned as much as she could about the music industry by attending music conventions such as IAJE. In the early years, Shannon would often practice eight or more hours a day, but her practice sessions are now much more focused and stress overcoming weaknesses instead of just practicing for practicing’s sake.
As with most people who are very good at one thing, Shannon Kennedy is very good at a lot of things. Not only does she play saxophone and flute, she plays oboe, clarinet, and sings as well. She played me a recording of herself on flute and she is a monster! She also does web design and she owns a reed case/saxophone accessory manufacturing company with her father. The only word that I could think of is “Renaissance Woman”. She does it all. She hosts her own web site, TeenJazz.com, and she composes music using her PC and Finale software.
I asked Ms. Kennedy what some of her non-music interests were, and she has quite a few. She played softball for nine years. She loves to run, she bike rides occasionally, and likes to do wood working. She also loves to write about a variety of topics.
Though biographies are supposed to be impartial, I feel very lucky to count Ms. Shannon Kennedy as one of my friends, and she is quite an inspiration indeed. She helps me believe that with hard work, anything is truly possible.
In closing, I would like to say that Shannon Kennedy is an amazing talent and she has a great head on her shoulders. She has received numerous honors including being named the SaxTalk Junior Saxophonist of the Month for May 2005. Shannon Kennedy is also a HollywoodWinds saxophone artist. We here at SaxTalk will certainly keep our eye on this amazing young lady, the future saxophone superstar, Ms. Shannon Kennedy.
Young Saxophonist Makes International Debut on Jazz Cruise
February 12, 2007
By Randy Gunter
Among some of the top names in the smooth jazz genre, one newcomer made waves on the All Star Smooth Jazz Cruise this last week. Shannon Kennedy, shared the stage with world’s top jazz artists, including performing with Grammy-nominated guitarist Craig Chaquico on the main stage. (Photos included.)
“Playing on the All Star Jazz Cruise was an irreplaceable and amazing opportunity,” claims the 19-year old Southern California musician. “I am extremely grateful for all the insight I gained about the music industry and I am infinitely appreciative of all the support I received from the other artists.”
The young musical protege recently produced and released her second CD, Steppin’ Up. Ms. Kennedy arranged the entire CD, and wrote all the songs with the exception of a cover of Duke Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood. On it, she plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes, along with flute, clarinet, guitar and keyboards. Special guests on the recording include a couple smooth jazz greats, guitarist Peter White (who also contributes an accordion track!) and saxophonist Kirk Whalum.
Ms. Kennedy has been playing professionally since age 14. Rex Djere writes in SaxTalk that she is “one of the future superstars of music.”
Mark Vrabel, one of the promoters of the cruise, commented about the Ms. Kennedy, “Shannon really impressed our jazz audience. She’s got a big future ahead of her.”
The All Star Cruise is an annual event featuring the most-well known artists in smooth jazz. This year’s cruise was hosted by Brian Culbertson and included headliner names that include George Benson, Gerald Albright, Boney James, Craig Chaquico, Norm Brown, and Candy Dulfer.
Shannon Kennedy, firstname.lastname@example.org
www.shannon-kennedy.com (site includes press kit information and photos)
All Star Cruise
Mark Vrabel, email@example.com
Tony LaBarbera, firstname.lastname@example.org