Kenny Peagler

Kenny Peagler is an internationally acclaimed jazz pianist, singer-songwriter, and arranger. His music is a mix of lyrical melodies, dense harmonies, fluid technique, and a rhythmic heartbeat that will take any listeners on an eclectic and soulful musical excursion. Peagler's musical personality forms a dichotomy. He is first and foremost a pianist and greatly cherishes the surprise and wonder that can occur from a spontaneous musical idea that is expressed in real time. But he also has a deep fascination for blending various genres and connecting with other musicians and the audience on a deeper level, which informs everything he plays. Kenny Peagler delivers a sound that is rich in his inspirations while still defining his own voice. His artistic arsenal spans the spectrum of genres including jazz, classical, popular, rhythm and blues, and gospel with a raw and honest approach that delivers musical integrity filled with rich emotions. "...he brings a wonderful energy and creativity..", said the late internationally renowned pianist Geri Allen.  “Kenny on the Yamaha [piano] and his high tones raise the hairs on my arms and the chills run over my back. The song does something experimental, which makes it difficult for the public to keep the attention in front of the stage, but watch the open-mouthed dining rooms. As a conservatory-educated pianist Kenny mixing a N'awlins rhythm with a Ray Charles and even a classical theme, attention is also back in the back of the stage rather than at the bar" says The Blues Alone during a live performance with the Poogie Bell Band at the North Sea Jazz Club in Amsterdam. 

Kenny Peagler's solo piano album, 100 Years of Strayhorn, celebrates the centennial birthday of the late prolific composer Billy Strayhorn. As a sideman, Kenny has played on six internationally released albums and has composed for countless artists including the sultry ballad "All I Want To Do" featured on the Aaron Myer's album Leo Rising and "He's My Everything," featured on Richard White's album I am of Value. His diversity as a pianist can also be heard on the album Evermore, which featured the band Gemini and numerous notable guest, including renowned trumpeter Sean Jones. Currently, he is recording his piano trio album expected to be released worldwide Spring of 2018. 

Peagler has performed around the world at a steady pace for many years, as a sideman and as a solo pianist. He has performed at some of the most notable venues including Carnegie Music Hall, Village Underground, The Blue Note in New York City, North Sea Jazz Club in Amsterdam, Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Italy,  Oslo Konserthus in Norway,  Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, and Italy's legendary Umbria Winter Jazz Festival. Peagler performed for President Barack Obama at the NAACP Bicentennial Celebration, held in New York City.  He was the keyboardist for Source Magazine's "Source 360", held in front of an audience of 20,000 at the Barclays Center in New York City with Lil' Kim, Wu-Tang Clan, and Tribe Called Quest. Throughout his career, he has performed with countless musical icons. 

As a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kenny experienced childhood in a city with a strong musical heritage, culture, and the origin of numerous influential jazz artists such as Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner, Mary Lou Williams, and Billy Strayhorn.  Like many pianists, Kenny studied and performed classical works at a young age. As a teenager, he was heavily immersed in classical, jazz, soul, and gospel music. Growing up exposed to such a wide range of genres helped advance his ear for music, develop his harmonic palette, and showed him firsthand the power that music can have in connecting the performer with the audience and the audience with each other. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 8:00am to 8:40am
NAMM Hilton Stage