Kendrick, Rodney

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Kendrick, Rodney

Kendrick, Rodney, jazz pianist, composer; b. Philadelphia, April 30, 1960. He is a hard swinging player and composer with a delightful Monkish wit and drive; he also notes the influence of Sun Ra and Randy Weston in his playing. He grew up in Miami with two sisters. Both sides of his family were musical, and also played or sang in church. His father, Jimmy Kay, played piano and accordion in church, as well as being keyboardist for Illinois Jacquet for seven years, and working with Sonny Stitt, Lou Donaldson, and Sam Rivers. Kendrick first played drums, then switched to piano. By the time he was out of high school he was working as a full-time professional, touring with James Brown, George Clinton, R&B harmony group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. When he turned 21, he moved to N.Y. to study with Barry Harris for a year. He served as sideman with such leaders as George Benson, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry, Frank Morgan, Terence Blanchard, J.J. Johnson, and Stanley Turrentine. A mutual friend brought him to Abbey Lincoln, with whom he worked for four years from 1993-97. At the same time, he formed his own trio and recorded beginning in 1993.


Dance, World, Dance (1993); Secrets of Rodney Kendrick (1993); Last Chance for Common Sense (1996); We Don’t Die, We Multiply (1997). Abbey Lincoln: Who Used to Dance (1996).

—Lewis Porter