Kenny Washington with Michael O'Neill
Although still considered the Bay Area’s best kept jazz secret, Kenny Washington has managed to earn a stellar reputation among his peers like trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, pianist Geoffrey Keezer, vibraphonist Joe Locke as well as singers Kim Nalley and Mark Murphy who declared “Kenny’s got the gift.” The Pacific Mambo Orchestra featured Washington on their eponymous 2014 Grammy-winning album and Joe Locke designed a gorgeous program of standards around him on” For the Love of You” (El Music).
“Kenny’s one of the greatest living male vocalists, without a doubt; He’s a sublime storyteller and exquisite balladeer. I love his familiarity with R&B, with Donny Hathaway, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye and how he can inject that feeling into the American Songbook in a very mature way.” – Joe Locke
No one has done more to showcase Kenny’s extraordinary talent than saxophonist/arranger Michael O’Neill who has created a series of projects over the past decade featuring inventive arrangements specifically designed for Washington’s nonpareil talent.
Performing together regularly at jazz clubs, theatres and major festivals, the two have become dear friends and creative comrades. As a prolific composer with a reputation for bringing out the best in jazz singers, O’Neill featured Washington on his first album “The Long and the Short Of It” which incorporated Washington’s soul drenched voice as part of sextet horn arrangements. The dazzling approach came full circle on O’Neill and Washington’s critically acclaimed 2007 album ‘Still Dancin.’ Their latest collaboration, “New Beginnings” marks a new phase and according to O’Neill,” Kenny has never sounded better.”
Their band features trumpeter Erik Jekabson, pianist John R Burr, bassist Dan Feiszli and drummer Alan Hall.