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Drummer and composer Kenwood Dennard was practically born playing music. He began playing piano at age 3, and moved on to the drums at age 9. Since then, Kenwood has truly mastered the art of drumming, playing in numerous settings.
In 1968 Kenwood attended David Mannes School where he studied ear training, theory, and piano. In 1971 he furthered his classical studies at the Manhattan School of Music Prep. Department, where he began studying percussion with Jim Price.
Kenwood graduated from the prestigious Dalton High School at age 17 and was accepted into Berklee College of Music in Boston the same year. There he majored in composition and his principal instrument was drums, which he studied with Gary Chaffee and Alan Dawson. Kenwood attended the accelerated program in order to make time to study theory with Nadja Boulanger during the summer of 1975 in Fontainebleu, France. Kenwood graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee in 1976. Thus he completed his formal training, but has continued to study with master musicians throughout the world.
Kenwood Dennard has enjoyed a multifaceted, star-studded career as a performer, recording artist, and educator. He has toured the world with such greats as George Clinton, Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Jaco Pastorius, Maceo Parker, Stanley Jordan, Bobby McFerrin, Gill Evans, Larry Coryell, Pharoh Saunders, Whitney Houston, Wayne Shorter, The Allman Brother's Band, Warren Haynes and Joe Zawinul; and led the Meta-Funk All-Stars, the Real Thing, and Quintessence.
His numerous recordings include Sting's Nothing Like the Sun, Vanessa Williams's The Sweetest Days, and Live at Montreux with Miles Davis and Quincy Jones.
"A few year later, after playing with Pat Martino and Brand X, I decided to concentrate on developing the MRO. My first concert was in 1979, where I played three keyboards and drums at the same time. I eventually developed it to the point where I could play eight ostinatos at the same time, and that led to playing all the parts of a song where I could sound like an entire band."
Kenwood was an artist-in-residence and taught free jazz at the New School in New York. He was also one of the founders of The Drummer's Collective in NYC. Kenwood returned to Berklee in 1996 as an associate professor to teach private percussion lessons, ensembles, and labs. In the fall of 2013, he was promoted to full professorship.
Over the past couple of years, Kenwood has performed with The Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes, Ernie Isley, Gill Evans Orchestra, Stanley Jordan Trio, Larry Coryell, Moe, The Funky Meters, Grey Boy Allstars, Karl Densen's Tiny Universe, The Mike Dillon Band, Ryan Montbleu Band, Max Creek and Phish. He's played at the Gathering of the Vibes, Moe.down, Strangecreek, Peach Fest and Wormtown.
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Half to full hour private lessons are available to students in the Boston, MA area.
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