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Michael O'Neill Quintet feat. Kenny Washington - CD Release
March 24, 2014
New Beginnings CD Release
Monday, March 24
Kenny Washington - voice
Michael O'Neill - sax
Erik Jekabson - trumpet
John R. Burr - piano
Dan Feiszli - bass
Alan Hall - drums
Performing material from their upcoming CD, New Beginnings, Michael O'Neill and Kenny Washington will present arrangements by Michael, Erik Jekabson, and John R. Burr. This will be the third CD that Michael and Kenny and have done together in their fifteen year association.
Saxophonist Michael O'Neill, a San Diego native,leads several jazz groups in the Bay Area. He was hired to provide a weekly jazz evening at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay starting at their opening and continuing for several years. He also managed a seven year plus engagement with his quartet at Cetrella on the coast. He has performed with several of the Bay Area’s leading big bands, including a two-year stint with the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. He plays frequently at all the leading jazz venues in the Bay Area including Yoshi’s San Francisco and Oakland, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, and The Jazz School.
The Michael O'Neill Quartet featuring Kenny Washington headlined the 2011 San Jose Jazz Festival. In the recent past he has performed frequently at Bay Area venues including Jazz at Pearl’s, Anna’s Jazz Island, the Jazz on the Hill Festival, the Oakland Art and Soul Festival, the San Jose Jazz Society Concert Series and many others as well as the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles.
Kenny Washington, a native of New Orleans developed a deep love for music at a very young age. Kenny grew up singing and performing gospel in church. He began performing with the school band, playing saxophone and singing. After graduating from high school Kenny continued his studies in music at Xavier University. While at Xavier, he studied various styles of music ranging from traditional and contemporary jazz to classical, rhythm and blues and pop.
If you have never heard this New Orleans native sing before, get ready for a jaw dropping experience. Kenny is a jazz vocalist virtuoso. Emulating the classic styles of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and infusing colors of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, Kenny's free, playful approach, with over a four-octave range is awe inspiring. His tone on ballads is liquid, his scat is so rapid-fire, passionate, melodious and inventive, and his intonation is so precise that it becomes noticeable if the piano wasn’t tuned that day. His range seems limitless. With a childhood background singing in gospel, Kenny is at home with the Blues as well as Jazz. This man is a must-see.