Big Joe Kennedy is a pianist ready to throw down from the count down. He is a blues and jazz musician born in the Midwest but thriving in New Orleans for over a decade. His unique fusion of genres recalls classic American composers and his multiple music degrees have helped him to establish a career as a skilled performer and educator. Known for playing around town and his acumen as an instructor, Big Joe Kennedy has distilled more than twenty years of experience playing all around the country into a unique career that sets him firmly in the heart of the birthplace of jazz.
Starting with piano at age 8, Kennedy found himself performing at blues jams in the Milwaukee and Chicago area by 15. His jazz education led him to Las Vegas for a graduate degree in performance. After moving to New Orleans in 2009 he found himself playing all over the city. This has since evolved into regular gigs with Mahogany Jazz Hall, 21st Amendment, and Trixie Minx burlesque shows. Joe also spent nearly 9 years as the pianist for the Dukes of Dixieland. Though Joe may be a transplant – he has become a staple of the mythic New Orleans music scene.
Now, in addition to regularly performing around the city, Joe is offering music workshops in New Orleans and traveling to your campus with a program that is curated to align with NAfME music standards, delivering scaled instruction to aspiring musicians. The workshop is the application of all the skills discussed in a book Joe wrote with accompanying audio to help share the essential skills you need as a musician to go jam or sit in with others. The very same skills that allowed him to reach where he’s at today. He poured years of hard won experience into this project with the hope of playing the role of opportunity creator for young musicians and share with them how these skills forged the path that he followed. His unique story and willingness to give back can’t help but to inspire. Watch out for what’s next from this exciting musician!