About Saxophonist Shannon Kennedy

Creating an accomplished reputation in an ever-expanding array of musical genres, Shannon Kennedy is recognized as an extraordinarily multi-faceted artist, composer, producer, performer, and recording artist.

Primarily recognized as a ‘powerhouse saxophonist’ throughout Southern California, Kennedy made her international debut performing on the 2007 Smooth Jazz Cruise with some of Smooth Jazz’s best-known performers – Brian Culberston, Craig Chaquico, Boney James, Nick Colionne, Candy Dulfer, and Michael Lington. Since she has toured and performed with 10,000 Maniacs, Peter White, and has made appearances on the television series America’s Got Talent and the Jimmy Kimmel show. Additionally, Kennedy has produced and recorded several solo projects and in 2020 she released her seventh full album, Back 2 Back.

In addition to her work as a saxophonist, Kennedy has recently been stepping out as a compelling lead vocalist. Her 2012 album release, Behind Your Eyes, saw success with "Falling Slowly" and "Dead Man’s Party" as well as her original, French-lyric composition "N’Importe Quoi." She can also be heard as a vocalist on her two most recent albums, Back Again and Back 2 Back.

‘What makes her list of accomplishments even more striking is that one would assume with her experience that she has been performing for several decades when in fact she is still in her early 20s.’ (Doyle – allmusicreview.com) With seven complete albums released, as well as EPs, and several singles, Kennedy has built up quite an impressive catalog. 

A Selection of Past Collaborations 

  • She made her international debut performing on the 2007 Smooth Jazz Cruise with some of smooth jazz’s best-known performers: Brian Culbertson, Craig Chaquico, Boney James, Candy Dulfer, Nick Colionne, and Michael Lington. 
  • She has played a key role as a saxophonist and member of the horn section on tour with Peter White, at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards in 2008 and 2010 (as well as other performances), and she also appears on White’s album Good Day (Peak Records). 
  • In 2007, she made an appearance on the debut season of America’s Got Talent playing in the horn section for Shawn Ryan. 
  • She toured as a part of 10,000 Maniacs in 2007 (opening for the B-52s). 
  • In June 2014, she appeared alongside Jessy J in an all-girl horn section on Jimmy Kimmel Live with popular vocalist, Mø from Denmark. 
  • Featured artist as part of the World Youth Jazz Festival 2014 in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
  • Performed at the Rock Against Trafficking 2015 Grammy After-Party as part of Andy Fraser’s All-Star band.
  • Shannon also worked as a regular member of French guitarist U-Nam’s group for several years, appearing on his albums: Future Love (2019), Surface Level (2016), C’est Le Funk (2014), and as the saxophonist on his live DVD U-Nam: Live at Anthology (2010). She also performs on the guitarist’s George Benson tribute, Weekend in L.A. (2018).

Her debut album, Angel Eyes (2005) was released while Kennedy was in high school and was recorded live in a basement recording studio along with three of her classmates. Following Angel Eyes, she released two albums in 2007, Steppin Up and Never My Love, featuring her as a composer and producer as well as performer and with an impressive line-up of guest artists including Peter White and Kirk Whalum. 

‘[Her] 2009 holiday-themed CD Almost That Time of the Year stars White, Nick Colionne, trumpet great Greg Adams, and famed Special EFX guitarist Chieli Minucci. Even before the official release of Almost That Time of Year the project’s high-spirited title track was receiving airplay on the O.C. college jazz station KSBR, the rock station 101.3 KATY in Temecula, and on Power 88 (KCEP 88.1), the big urban station in Las Vegas.’ (Jonathan Widran – National Jazz Author) 

In 2012, she made her debut as a lead vocalist with her album Behind Your Eyes.

Prior to striking out on her own once more with the release of Back Again in 2019, Shannon spent her time teaming up with French Guitarist and #1 Chart-Topping Artist, U-Nam, to form Groove LTD, a soulful and electrifying new group performing and recording a fusion of contemporary jazz and RnB. Groove LTD recently made their debut on the Billboard Most Added and Chartbound Charts with “It’s Only Love“, #13 on The Smooth Jazz Top 20 with Allen Kepler, and #34 on the SmoothJazz.com Charts. The group's catalog is no longer available, but you can still hear some of their songs on smooth jazz radio.

Shannon Kennedy is an Antigua endorsee and D'addario (reeds) Artist, she also has endorsements with the Beechler mouthpiece company, BG France, KenKase Reed Cases, Brancher Mouthpieces, Roland, and Vibrato Saxophones. You can read more about Shannon Kennedy's endorsements and saxophone setups on her equipment page. 

She has also recently stepped into the realm of film scoring and video game underscoring with her project Unfinished Compositions. The first four releases are available – L’Automne, L’Hiver, Le Printemps, and L’Ete. 

Shannon Kennedy FAQ

What Instruments Does Shannon Play? 

Shannon plays flute, saxophone, acoustic guitar, clarinet, oboe, keyboards and she sings. She also collects and plays exotic flutes/woodwinds including the shakuhachi, duduk, and dizi. 

Where can I get more information on Shannon? 

Looking for press information on Shannon Kennedy? You can view Shannon’s press kit, archive interviews, or other accomplishments. 

Does Shannon post photos from her tours? 

Shannon also blogs over at Eurolinguiste about her various trips and her favorite hobby outside of music, learning languages. You can view photos from her tours there. 

What is Teen Jazz? 

Shannon also designs and hosts teenjazz.com, a comprehensive website, and community for aspiring musicians. In addition to music business advice articles, Teen Jazz also features interviews, instrument reviews, album and concert reviews, and interviews with established musicians. You can find out more at the Teen Jazz website.