Born with an innate passion for music, Big Joe Kennedy’s symphonic journey commenced at the tender age of 8 when he first sat at a piano, igniting a lifelong love affair with melodies. Hailing from the heartland of the Midwest, Kennedy’s musical narrative resonates with the soulful echoes of blues and the improvisational cadence of jazz.

His formative years were steeped in the vibrant musical tapestry of Milwaukee and Chicago, where by the age of 15, Kennedy found himself enraptured by the allure of blues jams, embracing the raw, emotive power of this musical genre. Fueling his artistic ambition, Kennedy pursued a jazz education that propelled him to the luminous city of Las Vegas, where he honed his craft and attained a graduate degree in performance.

In 2009, Kennedy embarked on a transformative journey to New Orleans, a city pulsating with the rhythms of jazz, blues, and cultural dynamism. It was here that Kennedy’s musical odyssey burgeoned, weaving him into the fabric of the city’s musical legacy. Joe was the pianist for the Dukes of Dixieland from 2013-2022. His dexterity at the keys and his intuitive understanding of musical dynamics led to collaborations with esteemed venues such as Mahogany Jazz Hall, 21st Amendment, and the evocative Trixie Minx burlesque shows, solidifying his position as a revered musician within the vivacious New Orleans music scene.

Not merely content with his musical prowess, Kennedy’s aspirations extended to nurturing the next generation of musicians. Leveraging his multifaceted experience and a keen pedagogical insight, he embarked on a journey as an educator, imparting musical wisdom through workshops in New Orleans and campuses nationwide, aligning his teachings with the esteemed National Music Education Standards set by NAfME. A pinnacle in Kennedy’s illustrious career manifests in his literary opus, ‘Spread the Jam.’