Kenny Washington

Respected for his accomplishments both on and off the bandstand, Kenny Washington is a jazz legend. The Brooklyn-born, Staten Island-bred drummer studied with Dizzy Gillespie drummer Rudy Collins and attended the LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and has played behind Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Ahmad Jamal, Johnny Griffin, Clark Terry, George Cables, Lionel Hampton, Sonny Stitt, James Spaulding, Phil Woods, Bobby Watson, Curtis Lundy, and Tommy Flanagan. Kenny was part of one of the legendary vocalist Betty Carter’s most acclaimed groups that also featured Curtis Lundy on bass and John Hicks on piano, an ensemble that was showcased on her critically acclaimed album The Audience with Betty Carter, recorded at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

Fans of The Jazz Cruise know him best for his years with the Bill Charlap Trio with whom he’s worked for more than 20 years and with whom he’s recorded numerous albums, including two nominated for Grammy awards. The trio is considered one of the greatest working piano trios in contemporary jazz. Kenny returns to perform with Bill and bassist Peter Washington (no relation) on The Jazz Cruise ‘24. A prolific freelancer with an enormous discography, Washington loves jazz history and has written liner notes for and/or helped prepare classic jazz re-releases by Art Blakey and Count Basie, among others. He has also taught jazz drumming at the New School in New York City and he worked as an announcer at the New Jersey jazz radio station WBGO.

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