Artist's Biography"Imagine the trombonist's frustration: no established repertoire, no legacy from the giants of western music. For three centuries the instrument has been consigned to the back of the orchestra, to heavy-weight padding and buffoonery. To escape that stigma the trombonist must interest himself in extremes; the very old, the very new, jazz and areas where the natural theatricality of the instrument is valued. I am continually searching for new ways of using the trombone and for interesting musicians to perform with, and to that end I have developed duo partnerships with piano, percussion, organ and electronics in an attempt to reveal different facets of the instrument. Once you start looking the possibilities are endless."
John Kenny's repertoire extends from ancient and ethnic music to the present day, and he frequently appears as a concerto soloist with leading orchestras and ensembles. He offers lectures and recitals as a soloist, and duos with:
* Chris Wheeler (UK) - electronics
* George Nicholson (UK) - piano
* Mario Angelov (Bulgaria) - piano
* John Kitchen (Scotland) - organ
* Paul Flush (Belgium) - Jazz piano and Hammond organ
He is also co-founder and co-director of Carnyx & Company (voice/trombone/electronics - music theatre), TNT Music Theatre Company, Scot Free (improvising composers ensemble), the early music group His Ain Draucht Trumpets and The HeadSpace Ensemble, featuring quadriplegic musician Clarence Adoo with trumpeter Torbjörn Hultmark and Chris Wheeler on sound projection and turntables.
John Kenny was born in 1957 in Birmingham. Internationally recognised for his interpretation of contemporary music, he also performs jazz and early music. As a composer, he is particularly active in collaborations with dance and theatre, and this love of theatre is often an important feature of his recital output. His past commissions have included the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the International Trombone Association, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust, Chamber Group of Scotland, Dance Umbrella, American Drama Group Europe, The New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas (USA) and the Festival d' Angers, France.
After studying with Harold Nash at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and then on an Arts Council bursary with James Fulkerson, Kenny worked as an actor/musician with the Bubble Theatre in London, then made his debut as a soloist in the Purcell Room in 1982. In 1983 he was a prize-winner at the Gaudeamus International Competition in Holland, and has since given recitals and broadcast world-wide, both as a soloist and with ensembles including Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt and Ensemble Alternance of Paris, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Paragon Ensemble, and the National Orchestras of Romania and Moldova. In 1984 he was a founder member of the TNT Music Theatre Company, collaborating with playwright Paul Stebbings in productions which continue to tour hundreds of venues throughout Europe, Russia and Japan., and Korea.
In 1993 John Kenny was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, and is currently a professor at both the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he specialises in the interpretation of contemporary music, and The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he concentrates on sackbut and the interpretation of early music.
In 1992 John Kenny was invited to join a team of specialists at the National Museum of Scotland committed to reconstruct the Deskford Carnyx. Discovered in Northeast Scotland, this is the finest example so far discovered of an Iron Age Celtic war horn which was the most splendid and powerful wind instrument of the ancient world.
In 1993 he became the first person to play the carnyx for 2000 years, and has since lectured and performed on the instrument internationally, in the concert hall, and on radio, television, and film. There are now numerous compositions for the carnyx, and it features on seven CDs, and on March 15 2003 he performed solo to an audience of 65000 in the Stade De France, Paris.
John Kenny lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two sons.
For more detailed program and repertoire information, please contact Carnyx & Co.
John Kenny performs exclusively on Conn trombones.