Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Garrett, Kenny, alto and soprano saxophonist, flutist; b. Detroit, 9 October 1960. His father was amateur tenor saxist who liked Maceo Parker, Turrentine, Joe Henderson; his mother liked classical music and r&b, Motown. Garrett gigged around Detroit with Marcus Belgrave and Bill Wiggins. He intended to study film composing at Berklee but instead in 1978 he went on tour with the Duke Ellington big band led by Mercer Ellington.
He moved to the NYC area in 1980 or 81 and for a time attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. He is a former member of OTB, a band of primarily Rutgers students that came together under the auspices of Blue Note. In the early 1980s he also played with the Mel Lewis Orchestra, Joanne Brackeen (1986), Art Blakey, Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard and others. Later in 1986 he was picked up by Miles Davis, with whom he toured through Davis's death in 1991. Since then he has worked primarily as a leader, touring worldwide, although he also went to (South) Africa with Sting and has played often with Roy Haynes. Around 1996 he played in Indonesia for a month (Jakarta three weeks, Bali one week); this later led to his writing Delta-Bali Blues.
He was voted Alto Saxist of the Year in Down Beat's 1996 Readers Poll and has won many awards since.
William Fielder: Love Progression (1984; first recording); Introducing Kenny Garrett (1984); Garrett 5 (1988); Prisoner of Love (1989); African Exchange Student (1990); Black Hope (1992); Threshold (1995); Triology (1995); Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane (with Pat Metheny, 1996); Songbook (1997); Simply Said (1999); Happy People (2002); Standard of language (2003)
WBGO-FM, Newark, June 14, 1999
Appeared on HBO acting and playing in Subway Stories.
Appeared in soundtracks for Love Jones, Great White Hype.
Gene Kalbacher: Kenny Garrett, in: Down Beat (Aug.1987)
Jesse Nash: Miles' Super Saxman - Kenny Garrett, in: Jazz Times, Jan.1990
B. Comer: The Search for Kenny Garrett, in: Down Beat (Feb.1990)
Bill Milkowski: Wearing Sonny Stitt's Dirty Drawers, in: Jazziz (Feb/Mar.1990)
Fara C.: Kenny Garrett - "Ma nourriture de l'esprit", in: Jazz Magazine (Nov.1991)
Greg Banaszek: Kenny Garrett, in: Saxophone Journal (May/Jun.1992)
David Block: Kenny Garrett. A Profile... in: Jazz Journal (Aug.1992)
Linda Kohanov: Kenny Garrett - Spirits & Hope, in: Jazz Times (Dec.1992)
Toon Kessels: Kenny Garrett. Op eigen benen, in: Jazz Nu (Jul/Aug.1993)
Romain Grosman: Kenny Garrett, in: Jazz Hot (Jul/Aug.1994)
Martin Johnson: Roy Hargrove/Kenny Garrett. Opposites Attract, in: Down Beat (Sep.1995)
Bill Milkowski: Kenny Garrett. Chasin' Trane, in: Jazz Times (Jun.1996)
Dan Ouellette: Alto Saxist of the Year. Kenny Garrett, in: Down Beat (Dec.1996)
Howard Mandel: Kenny Garrett. Mission Posible, in: Down Beat (Sep.1997)
Simon Rawles: Full On. Simon Rawles talks to alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett, in: Jazzwise (Jul/Aug.1998)