Kenny Kirkland

Valerie Adams
Makoto Aida
Bob Baldwin
Julian N. Berke
Richard Boukas
James Campagnola
Jeff Ciampa
Brian Covert
Dave & Wendy
Kenwood Dennard
Armen Donelian
Kevin Garant
Maxfield Gast
Lois Gilbert
Francie Griffin
Mike Herman
Nina J. Hodgson
Chico Huff
Stafford Hunter
Dr. Jazz
Rodney Jones
Sean Joseph
Sam Keevers
Michael Keogh
Ed Kinslow
Pedro Leal
Michelle Denise Lee
David Liebman
Joe Locke
Gaspare LoPresti
John Malar
Janet Marlow
Jason Miles
Mou Mori
Scott Newell
Adam Nussbaum
Joshua Paxton
Sophia & Nicholas Peron
Alex Pertout
Viktor Okkerse
Mauricio Rodriguez
John Scott
Chuck Sher
Steve Slagle
Mike Smith
Mitch Stein
Kevin Udcoff
Michal Urbaniak
Michael Wall
Kenny Werner
Paul Wickliffe
Ronald Williams
Stacey Williams
Franck Wilmart
Matthias Winckelmann
Jim Young

Thanks for setting up the page and sending the information. We were all very shocked about his death. A close friend of his, Italian pianist Antonio Faraò had called me two days ago. Antonio has just seen the release of his CD Black Inside on which the focal piece is Brother Kenny (with Ira Coleman and Jeff Watts). This is tragic loss for the world of music.
Matthias Winckelmann (20 Nov 98)

Thanx for the e-mail. Nice idea. You know, we'll all miss his incredible music, but really miss his beautiful spirit.
Adam Nussbaum (20 Nov 98)

Very nice site. Looking forward to more 'stories'--the one on there is great. I wish I had something to contribute. Thanks for letting me know about the site. Kenny will be missed all around the world. I told the guys in my band last night and they were very upset.
Scott Newell (20 Nov 98)

Thanks for your e-mail. I saw you at Kenny's wake but never got a chance to introduce myself. I'm a saxophonist, guitarist and composer and I've been living in NYC for about 16 years. I met Don Alias when I played a few times on David Sandborn's TV show "Night Music". Tell him I said hi.

I met Kenny soon after I arrived in NY and we did a lot of playing, writing and hanging out particularly in the 55 Grand Street days before he hit the road full time. We played a bunch of times at 7th Avenue South (with Darryl Jones, Andy Newmark and Mino Cinelu) when Jerry W. was booking the club and also at Mikell's in the late 80's. I think he liked my playing and writing and he was always real supportive of anything I happened to be doing. I always considered him to be "my piano player" as did any band leader who was fortunate enough to get his attention.

He played on my last CD entitled "Dig This" which I noticed you listed on the website. Kenny played beautifully on this record (one takes all the way). We haven't yet hooked up distribution for it but I would love for more people to know about it since it's a recent recording of his and he gets a lot of space to play. I was thinking that since my record company owns the record outright, you could make a link to my website if you like. If anyone buys the CD from hearing about it through your site, I'll give you the CD's for free and we can give the money to his mom or donate it to one of the charities the family suggested. Please keep in touch and let me know what you think.
James Campagnola (20 Nov 98)

Feel free to copy any of the articles that are on the Kenny page on our site page. Also the large photograph is ours from London in 1996, so help yourself to that too. In the interviews section site you'll find a 1988 interview with Kenny and Delmar Brown that might be of interest to you, and Kenny is also featured in one of the 1985 Record interviews with the Blue Turtles band.

We'll send you any further UK obituaries that appear, and have mentioned your site on the Sting mailing list as we know Kenny had many admirers amongst Sting fans. He was a genius. Best wishes,
Dave & Wendy Stingchronicity (20 Nov 98)

This is very beautiful - I will post the info at in the Speak Out area where there is a thread about Kenny. When you know about the memorial service please let me know. Best.
Lois Gilbert (21 Nov 98)

I met Kenny in 1976. The first time I heard him play he blew me away. We did a few gigs together over the years and he was always the same. Very unthreatening and always playing some great music. He will be missed. Peace.
Jason Miles (21 Nov 98)

Really sorry to hear it. I didn't know him, but was a fan.
John Scott (21 Nov 98)

I am sorry to read Kenny's pass away at yesterday newspaper. I will visit your site soon. I was surprised that I got this mail from you. Around 20 years ago I heard your group at street at NYC with Don Alias, Kenny, you and Bob Mintzer. I liked StoneAlliance.
Makoto Aida (22 Nov 98)

What a beautiful tribute to your friend this site is. I didn't know him nearly as well as I would have liked, but every time we crossed paths, I walked away feeling enriched. As it was stated in the pamphlet given to the mourners at Kenny's service, "....he embodied a tranquil, giving, warm - hearted, patient and self-effacing soul that to know him, even slightly, was to commence to love him immensely." That was MY experience of Kenny Kirkland. I've been listening to his music all week. What an amazing musician. Thanks to Stone Alliance, Miroslav, Carla Bley, Fambrough, Wynton, Branford, The Real Kenny G., etc. for their parts in seeing to it that Kenny's work was documented for all to hear, learn from, and be inspired by.
Joe Locke (22 Nov 98)

Very nice to hear from you. I was planning on going to the service in Queens this week (I live not far) but had to work. Kenny will certainly be missed by all he touched musically and personally. Hope to be in touch and if you get any news about a St. Peter's service or similar tribute, please let me know.
Richard Boukas (22 Nov 98)

Got your message. I hope the site grows huge as Kenny Kirkland's talent! I'm still in shock. I'm a bass player in the Philly area. Never knew him personally, but saw him play years ago with Ronnie Burrage, Joe Ford and Marcus Miller. Also, "Black Codes" is one of my all time favorite discs, particularly cause of Kirkland. Sad thing that no more music will come from that source.
Chico Huff (22 Nov 98)

Thank you for the email. I heard about his death a couple of days ago. Never met him but saw him live with Sting here in Melbourne, many years ago. A wonderful player, very sad news.
Alex Pertout (22 Nov 98)

Beautiful site! I don't really know how I could contribute to the site being that I didn't really know him that well, but if you have any ideas, please let me know. I would love to in some way, just to honor his incredible legacy, I just don't really know how. Let me know,
Mitch Stein (22 Nov 98)

Thanks for the email. Kenny's spirit and musical legacy will live long beyond his physical body.
Jeff Ciampa (22 Nov 98)

We are sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts are with you.
RegionOnline (22 Nov 98)

Sadly, we had heard of his passing........taken much too soon. We've lost so many of our wonderful artists way before time. It's good that someone has taken the time to honor them appropriately. We'll go take a look at your site and good luck!
Jim Young (22 Nov 98)

Hi Bob Baldwin here, fellow keyboardist. I appreciate your efforts on your website.

My first taste of KK was checking him out on a Wynton gig. I think he was just sitting in, but he really spanked the piano and "Stole the moment". My next impression of him was the killing live solos he did on the Sting tour. Sting gave him a lot of light on that gig and KK really blew it up. I met him one time because I was always intrigued by his circle of fourths in his left hand. He told me that one of his biggest influences was McCoy Tyner. Listening to his solos definitely established that.

I found out about Kenny because I was to do a gig with one of Wynton's former bassists Reginal Veal. He had just come back from his funeral in NY straight to a gig. Needless to say, Reginald was not his usual cheerful self. His vibe was sad, quiet and somber. "This just blew everybody away. He was very young and this is an unfortunate situation", said Veal.

We will all miss the spirit and the fiery playing of Kenny Kirkland. May he rest in peace. I will include a piece on my site next week. Sincerely,
Bob Baldwin (22 Nov 98)

Thanks for the note. Kenny's passing was a shock. It's been about ten years since I worked with him in the studio, but I'll forward your URL on to those who knew him well. The community of great jazz musicians is too small as it is; it's a tragedy to loose one so young and gifted. All the best,
Paul Wickliffe (22 Nov 98)

I thank you for the message about Kenny Kirkland. I did not know about his untimely death. What a tragic loss.
Armen Donelian (22 Nov 98)

Thanks for letting me know about Kenny. I hadn't heard yet. I know he had a history of medical problems but I was sad to hear that he died so young. Please let me know if I can do anything for the website. I'd be happy to have our transcription of "Dienda" posted free, but it would have to be cleared through his estate first. Anyway, thanks again for keeping me informed.
Chuck Sher (22 Nov 98)

Kenny was in my band around 1980-81. That was the group with Sco, Ron McLure and Adam Nussbaum. "Caney" took Terumasa Hino's place and it was a ball for the time he was with me. He had one of the best time feels around, a good harmonic sense and deep understanding of Latin music. I still have a cassette with him and Lungs (Don Alias) going off on some Latin vamps and showing how to do it. Didn't see him much after that - a few record dates and a nice conversation a few months ago when Tain was talking to him on the phone from Birdland where he was working with Brecker. The thing about Kenny was his soft spoken way - but hip as a whip - nothing got by him. This brother could swing his ass off - he had that kind of forward momentum that is very special. Be looking for you up there brother - be good.
David Liebman (22 Nov 98)

Kenny and i played together with Carla Bley and did the record Heavy Heart with her --that's when we met ('84) and stayed friends since... at Zinno's just a few months ago i stopped in to see him with his trio on opening nite--after the first set he came back to the bar where i was and before saying hello said "where's your horn?"...thats the kind of soul he had and in fact the last conversation we had...we all will miss him..i always thought he was the best...God Bless You, Kenny
Steve Slagle (23 Nov 98)

In 1987, I had the chance to work with Sting, Kenny and Delmar Brown programming their keyboards for the "Nothing like the Sun World Tour" . Kenny was a pleasure to work and hangout with. his playing and his good nature will always be remembered and have inspired me for a lifetime. I had the chance to catch up with Kenny after several years of living in Australia. He played four sold shows with Sting at the Palace in Mebourne, on the last night in town we went to a small Jazz Club called Bennetts Lane. Kenny was jamming and hung out with the locals all night. Its was a night that brought back memories of New York City and 55 Grand, Bradley's, Body Heat and all of the places that Kenny graced with his love and passion for music. Thanks for the site and tribute to Kenny.
Kevin Garant (23 Nov 98)

I visited your website for Kenny. Beautiful! He was a burning, swinging piano player with a gentle heart and spirit. From the first time I heard Kenny I thought his possibilities were unlimited. The world will miss the history he would have written.
Kenny Werner (23 Nov 98)

This is a beautiful thing you guys are doing for the memory of Kenny. He was (is) an inspiration to many musician all over. He will be missed by all. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you of another recording that Kenny is on.
Elvin Jones: "Familiar Ground" --West Wind record label rec. Oct.1992 released sometime this year (I think!!??). I haven't really heard of this label but the record is with: Pat LaBarbera-tenor sax Reggie Workman-bass Kenny Kirkand-piano Mr. Elvin Jones-drums It's a nice record. Kenny plays his ass-off!!!
Stafford Hunter (23 Nov 98)

I feel honored to have had the opportunity to have known Kenny. Not only was he a kick ass pianist, but such a sweet man. The jazz world is diminished without his brilliance.
Dr. Jazz (24 Nov 98)

I heard of Kenny's death when listening to KCSM in San Mateo, California, last Monday morning. I was driving with Haybert Houston, publisher of "Jazz Now" magazine, on the way to an appointment and heard the news. Sad. And so young!
Nina J. Hodgson (24 Nov 98)

Thanks for the fine tribute to Kenny. The site is very fitting (i.e. peaceful and still).
Ed Kinslow (24 Nov 98)

MOURN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. KENNY KIRKLAND is gone. I sad.
Mou Mori (24 Nov 98)

Never recorded with Kenny, but played with him live-He also studied piano with my grandmother Maude B. Cummings Taylor. We were friends growing up together in NY. We played with Sting at different times. Good luck with the website, thank you -he is sorely missed.
Kenwood Dennard (25 Nov 98)

I am studying with Kenny Barron down here at Rutgers University. I was really caught off guard, as were a lot of people, when I heard about Kenny's passing. I want to let you know that he is in our thoughts and prayers and we all feel his strong presence in the music he has given us. The memorial page is beautiful, thank you for creating it.

Michael Wall (25 Nov 98)

I first met Kenny Kirkland in 1986 while he was touring with Sting on the Amnesty International tour. We immediately took a liking to one another and he proceeded to take me backstage and introduce me to Sting, Dollette McDonald, Janis Pendarvis and other persons on the tour. It was here that I witnessed the first of many pranks involving Kenny and his cane.

Before I knew it, we were sitting out in the audience watching Peter Gabriel perform with thousands of "regular" fans. He wanted me to experience the show from both sides of the stage. It didn't take long before long Kenny was spotted and people began to venture over to ask for autographs and pictures. It was amazing to me how modest he was and how much he enjoyed the appreciation.

Throughout the years we kept in touch, and I had the pleasure of knowing Kenny as a musician and as a friend. I can honestly say he was a strong factor in my getting into the music business.

He deserved much more recognition than what he was given. There was so much more left for him to accomplish professionally and personally. It is very sad that much was left undone. I will miss him deeply.
Stacey Williams (27 Nov 98)

Just this past Saturday (Nov. 13) afternoon we were having a discussion about looking forward to re-experiencing Kenny Kirkland's intense, intelligent, super-energetic playing, which blew us away, along with Kenny Garrett, over a year ago when he appeared in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A great loss to the future of jazz...
Sophia & Nicholas Peron (27 Nov 98)

Thanks for this great home page dedicated to Kenny Kirkland. When I put the info on my home page, I have received a lot of e-mails of French fans who were shocked by his death. We will miss him! I will put the URL on my home page in order for more people discover how great musician he was . Best from France
Franck Wilmart (29 Nov 98)

What a beautiful Spirit he of the nicest persons I've ever met! Despite his enormous musicianship & talent he remained "rooted".
Mike Smith (2 Dec 98)

In august of this year I was in Lisbon and saw him play with Branford Marsalis and Jeff Watts. It was the first time. I'm glad I've heard him.
Viktor Okkerse (3 Dec 98)

Kenny Kirkland was a part of my Michal Urbaniak Fusion band from 1997 to 1981. We traveled a lot together so I got to know him pretty well. He was a great musician and great guy. We recorded quite a few albums together and he was always on the money. Great Loss for music. God Bless His Soul.
Michal Urbaniak (6 Dec 98)

Kenny and I grew up together and played together. I have many pre-jazz piano Kenny stories to tell which I will send to you. Kenny recorded several albums with me. Kenny was a brilliant musician and is loved and missed by many.
Rodney Jones (6 Dec 98)

I was fortunate to grow up with Kenny in New York on Greene Ave. in the 60's. My memories of him are enlightened by remembering his smiling face. Kenny was a very mannerly boy and carried those attributes into his adulthood. I remember Kenny and the rest of us would get together and play stickball, handball, or sometimes sit on the stoop of our apartment house and sing. Kenny would practice playing his piano everyday. I knew from childhood that he was destined for success.

I was glad to talk to him after his return from the Japan tour. I was deeply saddened when I heard of his passing. He is a great loss to his family, friends, and music.

Thank you for making this site to express our sorrow.
Ronald Williams (28 Dec 98)

I was very sorry to hear of his death. I very much respected his playing.
Francie Griffin (98/99)

I used to dream that if I ever made it big in the jazz field that I would be able to ask Kenny to add his incredible sense of harmony to my compositions and music. He was my "dream pianist". When I heard of his passing I was deeply saddened. I hope he can hear the thoughts of so many of us who admired his spirit and soul through music. It was an accomplished life for that alone.

My kind prayers to members of his family.
Janet Marlow (8 Jan 99)

With so many gifted pianists in the scene, it is often difficult for a jazz pianist to really stand out and have that extra edge beyond merely having dexterous fingers and a knowledge of standards and licks of other great pianists. That having been said, I always felt, ever since hearing him with Branford Marsalis and later with Sting and Kenny Garrett, that Kenny "Doctone" Kirkland was one of the best pianist/keyboardists around. He was an incredibly versatile musician, a very distinctive and original improviser, and one of the baddest and rhythmically brilliant virtuosos I have heard, and I was always waiting for follow ups to his first solo album. I heard of his death at a Danilo Perez concert at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago a week after his passing and was deeply saddened at not only the loss of a great musician, but at the lack of the greater recognition he deserved during his short lifetime. He truly was a musician's musician, and I think it's great that you have put your memorial page up. Hopefully his music will be enjoyed and appreciated to a degree befitting his talent.
Julian N. Berke (11 Mar 99)

I just discovered your Kenny Kirkland web site (through Keyboard magazine), and I'm very glad to see that you've taken the time to set it up. I'm a pianist, and while I never knew Kenny personally (apart from meeting him briefly backstage after a gig), he was a great influence on me, and I felt a deep loss when he passed away.
Joshua Paxton (1 Apr 99)

I was stunned by the death of Kenny Kirkland. I pray that his family will seek the comfort of God who can and will heal all hurts.
Valerie Adams (4 May 99)

I am a guitarist from Chile. I would like to share with you my experience with Kenny. In January of 1998 I contacted Kenny to record on my first CD. Kenny stayed with us for five days. We played one concert in Santiago and recorded for three days. If you are interested in listening to this recording please contact my agent in Chile: Morgana Rodriguez at this E mail address: I believe that this recording studio session was his last one before he passed away.
Mauricio Rodriguez (19 Jun 99)

I am a saxophonist in Buffalo, NY and first heard Kenny in 1986/87 when Michael Brecker's first solo album came out. I was just amazed by his feel, his style, the lines he played. During that year, I spent a lot of time listening to that album and was always blown away by the piano playing. Yesterday, I received Branford Marsalis' latest album, Requiem. Kenny's playing is still unbelievable, inspiring, incredible. He will be forever missed.
Mike Herman (29 Jun 99)

I stumbled on Kenny's death notices one afternoon, while surfing the web in search of news of him. I had his first "solo" recording and was hoping he was able to do another. To say the least, I was shocked and saddened, we are the same age.

The last time I spoke with Kenny was in a, now defunct, club in SoHo (New York). He was leading a trio (might have been a quartet) that night and I took a date with me to turn her on to some "good" music. We had not seen one another in a few years and I was not sure he would remember me. He did. We reminisced a little, between sets.

We met in the classrooms and hallways and on the floor of the gymnasium at Nazareth High School in Canarsie Brooklyn. As a young white kid from Bensonhurst, Nazareth was the first place for me to meet, study with, and play with other teens from around the borough. Most especially young blacks from neighborhoods and a culture I knew nothing about. There were no barriers with Kenny. He quickly dispelled notions I had carried with me, from my little corner of Brooklyn, with a sly wit and honesty.

Kenny often played basketball with me and many of our classmates. Though hobbled by a severe limp (I never knew why), he played enthusiastically, if not well, and always had fun. He could break up a classroom with a wisecrack or a joke, but he was no class clown. He was talented and bright, we knew that from his days in the school band.

I was excited when I started noticing his name on record albums and in jazz articles. I was also very proud that one of my school mates was making a mark in the world - keyboard players, musicians, jazz and rock music lovers from all over the world will have heard his sound and style. Many will, no doubt, learn from him, even copy him. I think his trips into rock music were good for jazz too. It opened some windows for people who only knew rock music and gave some exposure to jazz musicians. The Blue Turtles made a big impact on rock and pop music and he was a major part of that. I was disturbed by the circumstances of his death, but I will always remember him as the good humored classmate and the adventurous musician.
Gaspare LoPresti (12 Jul 99)

I first met Kenny while attending university in New Orleans in 1987. I was a mere 17 year-old boy. A musician friend, Noel Kendrick, introduced us backstage at Sting's gig. I didn't get to see the show. All the comp tickets and backstage passes were spoken for. Kenny seemed very upset about this and promised to "make it up to me". I have many acquaintances in the biz and this is an all-to-familiar cop out. Over the next few years we would play telephone tag when I would hear he was in town. I never go to see him play with Sting.

Then Branford got the Jay Leno gig. Duran Duran, my all-time favorite band, would be making there first appearance on the show. After speaking to a couple of people on the Duran Duran tour, I was informed that their guest list would very limited and was already pretty full. I decided to take Kenny up on his "make it up to you" offer.

It's a good thing I did, people had camped out over-night. Only about 20 got in... and were in the back row. This audience was VIP only. I was seated next to Joanna Kearns, from Growing Pains. During the warm-up a page tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to follow him. This was my first Tonight Show and I thought: I'm getting kicked out!

I was taken down to the stage where the band had started their "warm-up". Kenny invited over to his keyboards. Branford and Tain recognized me and we had a short pow-wow. I was whisked back up to my seat and 2 minutes later the show kicked off. After the show Kenny invited me down to the band dressing room, where we caught up.

The last time I saw Kenny, was when Harry Connick, Jr. and Jim Carrey [promoting The Mask] were guests.

Kenny, by far, was the nicest person I have ever met in the biz. It is no lie, no exaggeration. As someone who is not a Hollywood celebrity, he would always treat me like I was, and make sure that all around did as well. I often wandered the back corridors of NBC after Tonight Show tapings.

He also seemed very proud of the fact that I graduated from Tulane University. Whenever he would introduce me to someone, I was "Kevin from Tulane University".

By living in Dallas/Ft. Wort, Texas, and being on the road nine months out of the year, I find it difficult to keep in touch with everyone I should. I am only sorry that I didn't keep in better touch with Kenny.
Kevin Udcoff (7 Sep 99)

I'm ashamed to say I just found out about Kenny's death today, about a year after his passing (word gets around slowly in these parts of Japan). I know him only as a fan, have no personal stories to share about him, but respect him just the same. I caught him twice live. Once was at a taping of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Kenny seemed happy and upbeat. The other time was a couple years ago at the Osaka Blue Note in Osaka, Japan. It was Branford Marsalis, Kenny, "Tain" Watts and another guy on bass. The set was superb, and Kenny was his usual swinging self. Truth to tell, I went to the Osaka Blue Note as much to see Kenny play as Branford. Brother Kenny, you continue to be an inspiration to me as a human being, and I will never forget you. With respect and love...
Brian Covert (25 Nov 99)

My name is Maxfield Gast. I am a saxophonist from Philadelphia. I just wanted to let you know how nice it was to see a Web site for Kenny with pictures, stories, and even a complete discography. I love Kenny's playing. It was a tragedy what happened. The letter you wrote on your page almost brought tears to my eyes. Kenny's music will keep getting played and his soul will continue to live inside of all of us. I wish I had gotten a chance to play with him. Sincerely,
Maxfield Gast (28 Aug 00)

I love Kenny, his playing is the most refreshing out of all the "young" guys. Nobody alive today is so recognizable on the keys as he was. I was very sad when I heard of his death.Tonight I have just come home from a gig (I am a trombonist in Australia!!)and I was looking through my CDs for something to listen to at 2am when I decided on a Buckshot Le Fonque album, when it came to Kenny's solo I was just as amazed with it as I was when I first bought this disc. I decided then and there to get on the net and find a Kenny site. Well done, just reading all the tributes would bring a tear to a glass eye! He was and is the GREATEST.
Sean Joseph (3 Dec 00)

Hi !!!! First of all, congratulations for your nice Web page, dedicated to Kenny Kirkland. Really you did a big job. Well I want give more information regarding Kenny Kirkland. He was in my country Chile, a couple of times with Sting on 90's and took part in a project called "DATRIZA". The name of the band was "Mauricio Rodriguez & Almendra Trio". The members were Mauricio Rodriguez on Electric Guitar, Daniel Rodriguez on Drums (Mauricio's brother), Pablo Lecaros on Bass and of course Mr. Kenny Kirkland on Keyboards. The CD was recorded on February 3th and 5th on 1998 at Estudios Konstantinopla in Santiago. The Rodriguez brothers started playing blues and jazz post bop. They were members of a great Chilean blues band called " La Banda del Capitán Corneta". They released only one CD. Then Mauricio and Daniel were playing jazz music in the "Quintet of Hot Club of France" styles with Roberto Lecaros, the biggest Chilean fiddler. Nowdays they work as session musicians. On the other hand, Pablo Lecaros is one the most important Chilean musicians playing bass guitar. You can get aditional information of this project and you can listen to some MP3 files, at Well that's all for now. I hope you like this information. If you want get this CD, it might be possible to get a copy of it at the link above.
Pedro Leal, Santiago, Chile (21 Apr 01)

Dear Gene Perla,
I hadn't been following jazz music for a while, but I was saddened a few weeks ago when I heard Kenny Kirkland had died in 1998. Enclosed is a photo I took of Kenny when he played at the Carolina Music Fest in Charlotte, NC in September of 1997. Kenny was a great pianist who is greatly missed. Sincerely,
Michael Keogh, Rock Hill, SC (01)

Dear Mr. Perla,
My Name is Michelle Lee and I met Kenneth in September of 1960. Our families attended Holy Rosary School and Church together. I recently found out of Kenneth's passing from Brett Lewis, another classmate. Though I hadn't seen him in years, I am deeply saddened.

My memories of Kenneth were that of a very mischievous little boy. Kenneth always looked like he was getting ready to do something. He had that impish look when he was ready to strike. Anyway, I just want to send my condolences to his family, friends and loyal followers. I never knew "Kenney" Kirkland was Kenneth Kirkland from Rosary. To know that one of my classmates was respected and accomplished in the music industry is a rare treat. How proud his family must have been of him.
Michelle Denise Lee (3 Apr 02)

Dear Sir or Madam:
I first heard Kenny Kirkland play in 1986 in Brisbane, Australia, with Sting. I was 16 years old. Seeing him on that gig is the reason why I am a musician today. (I wanted to play just like him!!) I saw him play many times in New York in 1995 and finally met him here in Melbourne, Australia a couple of years later, again with Sting. I asked him if he would teach me when I headed back to America. He said he didn't really teach but he gave me his phone numbers in LA and NY and said come and hign out. (I still have the napkin he wrote the numbers on!!) I was frantically trying to save money to head back to NY when I heard he has died. He inspired me to become a musician and I still look to him for inspiration today. Thank you for a beautiful Web site which I have only just discovered. Sincerely,
Sam Keevers "Doctone" lives!! Brunswick, Australia (02)

Thank you for doing the Kenny Kirkland site. Kenny graduated from Nazareth Diocesan High School, a Catholic school in Brooklyn, which is still in business, but is now called Nazareth Regional High School. The eulogy on the site mentioned Bishop Ford, which is incorrect. I graduated from Nazareth too, a year or two before Kenny. I remember he was equipment manager for the basketball team. He always limped and even then he had a cane. I play drums and I got to play with him once back then in a very short lived band. We played once. I'm pretty sure it was at Fairfield University. I remember playing Santana's "Everthing Is Everything." Kenny also played sax in those days. But the reason I'm writing is to let you know that Nazareth recently established a scholarship fund in Kenny's name, which is something you might want to add to your site. If you need more info, you can e-mail the Nazareth Alumni office at Nazareth was mostly white when I went there, but it's now made up almost exclusively of minorities, so I think it's very fitting that Kenny has a scholarship fund in his name there. Families in the area really struggle to send there kids there, so they can get a first-rate education, and the school is always strapped for cash.
John Malar, Cranford, NJ (5 Dec 03)


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