Kenny Werner was born on November 19, 1951 in Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.A.
At the age of eleven, he recorded a single with a fifteen-piece orchestra and appeared on television playing stride piano. He attended the Manhattan School of Music as a concert piano major. In 1970, he transferred to the Berklee School of Music.
In 1977, recorded first LP that featured of the music of Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson and George Gershwin and later that year with Charles Mingus on “Something Like A Bird”
In 1981, recorded his own solo album of original compositions entitled Beyond the Forest of Mirkwood . The following year, Werner recorded the sounds heard coming from his Brooklyn-based studio – a hotbed of late-night jam sessions — and titled the record after his address, 298 Bridge Street.
In the early 80s he toured extensively and recorded with Archie Shepp.
In 1981-1995, formed his first trio with bassist Ratzo Harris and drummer Tom Rainey. Their first trio CD for Sunnyside records was entitled, Ken Werner – Introducing The Trio. He would do another trio album for Sunnyside called Press Enter and a beautiful quintet album featuring Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, and Eddie Gomez entitled, Uncovered Heart. The trio with Harris and Rainey was an association that would last 14 years and record two more albums, Guru (TCB) and Live at Visiones (Concorde) That trio was generally acknowledged as being among the most creative, intense and innovative trios of its day.
In the mid 90s Mr Werner joined the Mel Lewis Orchestra. He was beginning to perform more and more in Europe and New York City.
He has also written compositions for the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, now known as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and has since written jazz orchestra compositions for groups such as the Cologne Radio Jazz Orchestra (WDR), the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra, The Metropole Orchestra (Holland) and the Umo Jazz Orchestra (Finland).
2000-2007-Has appeared with his current trio featuring Ari Hoenig on drums and Johannes Weidenmueller on bass. They have recorded three CDs to date, “Form and Fantasy,” “Beat Degeneration” and “Peace, Live At The Blue Note.”
1970-2007, Has performed, recorded, and collaborated with Joe Lovano, appearing on many of his CDs and Joe appearing on several of Werner’s CDs.
1990-2007, Has appeared with Betty Buckley. He has arranged all her shows during that time and produced, arranged and played on all her CDs. He has written symphony music for her that has been performed by the BBC Radio Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony and many others.
1995-2007, performed and recorded with Toots Thielemans in duo, sometimes in trio with Oscar Castro-Neves, the original bossa Nova guitar player who played with Antonio Carlos Jobim and Sergio Mendes, also sometimes in quartet with Airto Moreira.
2002- nominated for a Grammy for best instrumental composition titled “Inspiration” in duo with Toots Thielemans.
Also played and performed in Brazil, Japan and America with other Brazillian greats such as Dori Cayimi and Joyce.
2007, wrote an extended composition for the MIT wind ensemble featuring Werner, Lovano and Judi Silvano titled “No Beginning, No End” and an entire evening with Betty Buckley and the Seattle Symphony. He will record this work in New York City in 2009 for Half Note Records.
2007-recorded his first CD for Blue Note Records titled “Lawn Chair Society” featuring Chris Potter, Dave Douglas, Brian Blade, and Scott Colley.
That same Year He also recorded and released “The Delirium Blues Project; Serve or Suffer,” a collective effort featuring Rosanna Vitro, Randy Brecker, James Cater, Ray Anderson, Adam Rogers, John Patitucci, Rocky Bryant and Geoff Countryman for Half Note Records.
Played most of the major festivals in the world including Tanglewood and Newport Jazz Festival.
In 1996, published a groundbreaking book on the emotional, spiritual, physical and psychological aspects of mastering and performing titled Effortless Mastery. The book has since been translated into several languages and is regarded as an essential read for artists of any kind. It is required reading in many universities.
Official Website: http://www.yoshis.com
Added by Yoshis on February 16, 2010