Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Kerr, Brooks (Chester Monson Brooks Joseph Kerr III)

Kerr, Brooks (Chester Monson Brooks Joseph Kerr III), piano; b. 26 Dec. 1951, New Haven, CT.

His parents are Chester and Edith Kerr, and his siblings are Philip, Claudia, Alexander, and John Seymour Kerr II.  Blind, Brooks was a child piano prodigy who studied from as early as age 2 with Jane Stevens at Yale University, where he attended the Child Study Center directed by Dr. Milton Senn. He then studied privately with Jean Brown (1954-6), and began attending the Foote School in new Haven. He studied jazz with Lucky Roberts and Willie the Lion Smith during 1958, worked with Russell Rega ca. 1961-3 in New Haven, and studied with Sanford Gold in Manhattan from 1964 until about 1972. In New York he attended the Dalton School (1966-70), Manhattan School of Music, and Juilliard (until 1972).

He is especially known for his performances of Ellington's music and for his expert knowledge of Ellington's work. On some of his recordings the drummer is Ellington alumni Sonny Greer. He assisted Ellington in a one week seminar at the U. of Wisconsin in 1972 and subbed for the ailing Ellington at a performance of Ellington's Third Sacred Concert in April 1974.

He has taught privately for many years.

Recordings:
Brooke Kerr-Paul Quinichette Quartet: Prevue (1974); Kerr: Soda Fountain Rag (aka Poodle Dog Rag; 1975); Kerr Salutes Waller; Kerr Salutes Berlin; Kerr Salutes Ellington.

Contact:
212-838-2489
405 E. 56 St., Apt. 8L, NY, NY, 10022

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