As a performer, composer, arranger and bandleader, Kenny Barron has spent five decades at the forefront of the jazz piano aristocracy. In 2010, he was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, and he has been inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has garnered multiple Grammy Award nominations, and in 2005, Jazz at Lincoln Center hosted a three-week Kenny Barron Festival.
In his early days on the jazz scene, the Philadelphia native was a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s Quintet and was an in-demand sideman, working with Chet Baker, Ron Carter, Stan Getz, Joe Henderson and Freddie Hubbard, among many others. He launched his solo career in 1973 with Sunset to Dawn, released by Muse Records, and has recorded more than 40 albums as a leader.
Among his ensembles was the quartet Sphere, which performed from 1982-88 and celebrated the music of Thelonious Monk. Its first release was Four for All on Elektra. It was revived ten years later with the CD Sphere and a sold-out tour. In 1985, Mr. Barron met bassist Dave Holland for the first time, along with drummer Daniel Humair, and the trio made Scratch for Enja Records.
Mr. Barron has recorded several duo improvisations, including Freefall with violinist Regina Carter, Night & the City with bassist Charlie Haden and Swamp Sally with percussionist Mino Cinelu. In recent years, Mr. Barron has embraced Brazilian music, making Canta Brasil with Trio da Paz. His website is kennybarron.com.
A master of tone and rhythm, bassist, composer and bandleader Dave Holland is now in his fifth decade as a performer, and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. The Wolverhampton, England, native got his big break when Miles Davis saw him in a combo that opened for the Bill Evans Trio in the Soho jazz club Ronnie Scott’s. Within a month, Mr. Holland was in Harlem playing with Davis, and would remain with him for two years, during the trumpeter’s In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew sessions.
Mr. Holland then struck out on his own, and in 1972, he made the now-classic Conference of the Birds for ECM. He started working with folk and rock musicians like Bonnie Raitt, John Hartford and (for one night) Jimi Hendrix. He formed his first working quintet in 1983, which released Jumpin’ In, and he developed varied and fruitful relationships with artists such as Anthony Braxton, Stan Getz, Cassandra Wilson, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Betty Carter, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and Herbie Hancock.
With the new century, Mr. Holland debuted his Big Band in 2000 and released What Goes Around. In 2005, Mr. Holland formed Dare2 Records, and he has made five albums on the label, including the Grammy Award-winning Overtime. His Pathways marked the debut of the Dave Holland Octet and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Mr. Holland’s latest release is Hands, a collaboration with Spanish flamenco guitar legend Pepe Habichuela. His website is daveholland.com.