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Joe Kennedy, Jr.

Although recipient of classical training, violinist Joe Kennedy, Jr. is most beneficial known for his function in jazz, carrying out together with his cousin, the saxophonist Benny Carter, in addition to pianists Hank Jones and George Shearing. Kennedy was created in Pittsburgh in 1923, and his youth close friends included another potential jazz great, pianist Ahmad Jamal. Motivated by traditional violin grandmaster Yehudi Menuhin, Kennedy continued to perform using the Camp Lee Symphony Orchestra in Petersburg, VA, during Globe Battle II, but after his Military tenure finished he came back to Pittsburgh, signing up for Jamal, guitarist Ray Crawford, and bassist Edgar Willis within the jazz combo the Four Strings. Their Mary Lou Williams-produced debut, Tendencies, appeared for the Disk label in 1949, with Down Defeat dubbing Kennedy’s function “the cleanest violin we’ve have you ever heard.” After learning used music at Carnegie Mellon, Kennedy shifted to Virginia Condition College, earning an employee teaching position using the Richmond open public school program. He continued to be a Richmond educator for 32 years within the capacities of instrumental music expert, supervisor of music, and finally supervisor of supplementary arts and humanities — among his learners was the near future golf great Arthur Ashe. In 1962 Kennedy documented what would stay his singular jazz date being a head for near 2 decades: the Crimson Anchor discharge Strings by Candlelight, which highlighted efforts from Hank Jones, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and bassist Milt Hinton. The next season he was the very first African-American musician accepted towards the Richmond Symphony, staying resident violinist for another 18 years; throughout that period he also documented with Jamal, toured simply because a member from the Benny Carter All-Stars, and constructed a small number of first tracks, including “BE CERTAIN,” “Tempo,” and “Opticas.” After reuniting with Jones and recruiting bassist Main Holley and drummer Oliver Jackson, Kennedy once again assumed a command function for 1980’s Magnifique!, released via the French Dark and Blue label. (The periods had been reissued in 2002 beneath the name Falling deeply in love with Like.) Kennedy retired as Teacher Emeritus of Music from Virginia Technology in 1995; he passed away Apr 17, 2004, in Richmond.

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