Kenny Drew

Kenny Drew

Piano icon Piano

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August 4, 1993 (Age 64) died

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August 28, 1928 Birthday

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New York, New York, U.S. Birthplace

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Kenny Drew was a talented jazz pianist and composer who played with most of the top musicians of his era. His first recording was with Howard McGhee in 1950 and he went on to record with Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and Dinah Washington among others. Drew also recorded over 30 albums as leader. In 1961 he moved to Paris and then permanently relocated to Copenhagen in 1964. In Copenhagen he was a well-known figure in the jazz scene and recorded frequently with Danish bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. Kenny Drew died in 1993 at the age of 64.


Along with Dexter Gordon, Kenny Drew composed and recorded the score for the hardcore pornographic film "Pornografi – en musical." Kenny Drew was co-owner of the Matrix record label. His son, Kenny Drew Jr., was also a talented jazz pianist, particularly popular during the 1990s.

Early Life

Kenny Drew was born and raised in New York. He began playing the piano at age 5 and at age 8 he gave his first public recital. Drew attended the High School of Music and Art in New York and worked as an accompanist for the Pearl Primus Dance School. As a young man he was influenced by Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Bud Powell and Thelonius Monk.