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 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 apart from legions of has-beens and never-wheres.
Starting with piano at age 8, Kennedy found himself performing at blues jams in the Milwaukee and Chicago area by 15. His jazz training let him keep up with more experienced performers – but he remained a blues guy at heart. 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, Trixie Minx burlesque shows, and Fritzel’s on Bourbon Street. Joe also spent 8 years as the pianist for the Dukes of Dixieland. Though Big Joe Kennedy may be a transplant – he has become a staple of the mythic New Orleans music scene.
Now, Big Joe Kennedy 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 laying out the same path for young musicians 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!