Kenny Davern

Infobox musical artist
Name = Kenny Davern

Img_capt = Kenny Davern in 1992
Img_size = 150
Landscape =
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name = John Kenneth Davern
Alias =
Born = Birth date|1935|1|7
Died = death date and age|2006|12|12|1935|1|7
Origin = flagicon|USA Huntington, New York, USA
Instrument = Clarinet
Soprano saxophone
Voice_type =
Genre = Dixieland
Occupation =
Years_active =
Label = Arbors Records
Chiaroscuro Records
Associated_acts = Jack Teagarden
Joe Temperley
Bucky Pizzarelli
Ken Peplowski
Current_members =
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Kenny Davern (January 7, 1935December 12, 2006), born John Kenneth Davern, was one of the premier jazz clarinetists of his generation.

He was born in Huntington, Long Island to a family of mixed Jewish and Irish-Catholic ancestry. [ [ - Jazz Artist - Kenny Davern ] ] His mother’s family originally came from Vienna, Austria, where his great-grandfather Alfred Roth had been a colonel in the Austro-Hungarian cavalry, the highest rank accessible to a Jew in the Habsburg Imperial army.

After hearing Pee Wee Russell the first time, he was convinced that he wanted to be a jazz musician, too; and at the age of 16 he joined the musician's union, first as a baritone saxophone player. In 1954 he joined Jack Teagarden's Band, and after only a few days with the band he made his first jazz recordings. Later on, he worked with bands lead by Phil Napoleon and Pee Wee Erwin before joining the Dukes of Dixieland in 1962. The late 1960s found him free-lancing with, among others, Red Allen, Ralph Sutton, Yank Lawson and his life-long friend Dick Wellstood.

At this time, he had also taken up the soprano saxophone, and when a spontaneous coupling with fellow reedman Bob Wilber at Dick Gibson's Colorado Jazz Party turned out be a huge success, one of the most important jazz groups of the 1970s, Soprano Summit, was born. Co-led by Wilber and Davern, both switching between the clarinet and various saxophones, during the next five years Soprano Summit enjoyed a very successful string of record dates and concerts. When the group disbanded in 1979, Davern devoted himself to solely playing clarinet, preferring trio formats with piano and drums. His collaboration with Bob Wilber was revived in 1991, the new group being called Summit Reunion. Leading his own quartets since the 1990s, Davern has preferred the guitar to the piano in his rhythm section, employing guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden and James Chirillo.

In 1997, he was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame at Rutgers University, and in 2001 he received an honorary doctorate of music at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York. In addition to the jazz greats that inspired him, Kenny Davern indicates classical clarinetist David Weber, principal solo clarinetist with the New York City Ballet Orchestra, as his most important teacher.

Although playing mainly in traditional jazz and swing settings, his musical interests encompass a much broader range of styles. In 1978 he collaborated with avantgarde players Steve Lacy, Steve Swallow and Paul Motian on a free jazz-inspired album appropriately entitled "Unexpected". In addition to his accomplishments in jazz, his ardour and knowledge of classical music is encyclopaedic, particularly of the work of conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler.

Especially since he has been concentrating on exclusively playing the clarinet, Kenny Davern has been calling his own an unmatched mastery of the instrument. A full, rounded tone, especially "woody" in the lower chalumeau register, combined with highly personal tone inflections and the ability to hit notes far above the conventional range of the clarinet, have made his sound immediately recognizable. In the late 1980s, the New York Times hailed him as "the finest jazz clarinetist playing today". Kenny died of a heart attack at his Sandia Park, New Mexico home.

elect discography


*Randy Reinhart at the Mill Hill Playhouse: As Long As I Live" (Arbors Records)


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kenny Davern — 1992 im Jazzland, Wien Kenny Davern (* 7. Januar 1935 in Huntington, Long Island, New York; † 12. Dezember 2006 in Sandia Park in New Mexico) war ein US amerikanischer Jazz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The Kings of Jazz featuring Kenny Davern Live in Concert 1974 — Infobox Album Name = The Kings of Jazz featuring Kenny Davern Live in Concert 1974 Type = live Longtype = Artist = Kenny Davern and The Kings of Jazz Cover size = Caption = Released = 2003 08 05 Recorded = December 8 to December 13, 1974 Genre =… …   Wikipedia

  • Dialogues (Kenny Davern album) — Dialogues Studio album by Kenny Davern and Ken Peplowski Released 2007 05 08 Recorded …   Wikipedia

  • Live at the Floating Jazz Festival (Kenny Davern album) — Infobox Album Name = Live at the Floating Jazz Festival Type = live Longtype = Artist = Kenny Davern and Joe Temperley Cover size = Caption = Released = 2002 01 22 Recorded = October 30, 1000 to November 4, 2000 Genre = Mainstream jazz Dixieland… …   Wikipedia

  • Davern — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Kenny Davern (1935–2006), US amerikanischer Jazz Klarinettist und Saxophonist Noel Davern (* 1945), ehemaliger irischer Politiker der Fianna Fáil Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • No One Else But Kenny — Studio album by The Kenny Davern Trio Released 2006 11 21 Recorded …   Wikipedia

  • At the Mill Hill Playhouse — Infobox Album Name = At the Mill Hill Playhouse Type = studio Longtype = Artist = The Kenny Davern Quartet Cover size = Caption = Released = 2003 11 04 Recorded = 2003 05 19 Genre = Dixieland revival Length = Language = Label = Arbors Records… …   Wikipedia

  • Wellstood — Richard McQueen „Dick“ Wellstood (* 25. November 1927 in Greenwich, Connecticut; † 24. Juli 1987 in Palo Alto) war ein US amerikanischer Jazz Pianist (und Arrangeur) des Dixieland Jazz, Boogie Woogie, Stride Piano Stils und Swing. Wellstood… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Martin Litton (pianist) — Martin Litton Birth name Martin Litton Born May 14, 1957 (1957 05 14) (age 54) Origin …   Wikipedia

  • Jazzmusiker (Tabelle) — Die Tabelle enthält ca. 500 der bekanntesten und wichtigsten Jazzmusiker von den Anfängen bis heute. Die Tabelle ist nach dem Künstlernamen sortiert, aber auch anders sortierbar und ermöglicht damit eine chronologische Übersicht oder eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.