“Kennedy's musical influences are many, from piano masters such as Gene Harris and Ramsey Lewis to classical composers Debussy and Satie. His style has been compared to that of Harry Connick Jr. and Ray Charles. And, when asked to give his own description, he'll tell you that his playing is "too jazzy for blues and too bluesy for jazz."”
The Journal Times
“There's no doubt about it. A lot of cats can play the piano around here. Some are pretty damn good in fact. However, Big Joe Kennedy is the Piano MAN around these parts. High in demand, chill in attitude and above the cherry with chops, Kennedy is a local treasure while he's here. Check him out.”
"Big Joe Kennedy’s show. . . check him out. The piano player is a much sought after side man for both recordings and live shows. He also knows how to deliver the goods as a solo performer. Kennedy’s set list often includes the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Frank Sinatra along with the best in stride and other styles. Kennedy also has his own original material."
"Joe Kennedy will fill in for Fazio. Now 24, Kennedy was a toddler when some of the musicians who perform regularly at Pogo’s started drawing Social Security."
Jerry Fink - Las Vegas Sun (Jun 12, 2008)
Las Vegas Sun
“Joe Kennedy’s sensational combination of ripe jazz riffs and catchy melodic lines make his refreshing musicality irresistible. If you like upbeat Jazz and fusion you will find Kennedy’s tunes intoxicating. If there is one thing the music world needs it is a step back to when popular musicians were also talented musicians. Joe Kennedy is without a doubt a talented virtuoso with limitless marketing potential. I would not be surprised if Kennedy found his way into the mainstream, even while staying true to his jazz roots. . . . he has by far been one of the most musical artists that I have reviewed this year. His vocals are great for the songs, his melodies are catchy, and his grooves are, well, groovy. Kennedy is truly a musician that can be looked up to, learned from, and enjoyed. We can’t wait to see what he does next.
Rick Fonte - President of Artist Research & Development - Provayo Promotions (Feb 12, 2008)
"Joel,...You already play your instrument well and have great ideas, very creative too..."
Rich Perry - Tenor Sax - Village Vanguard Big Band, Maria Schneider (Jul 7, 2006)
One of Racine's homegrown musicians ventured to Australia last week to take part in the "Fringe Festival," which takes place in Adelaide in February and March. Jazz and blues pianist Joe Kennedy is attending the festival as musical director of a show produced by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Kennedy, who graduated from Walden III High School in 2002, is finishing his Masters of Music degree in Jazz Performance at the university. His undergraduate degrees, in music and business management, were earned at the University of Wisconsin- Parkside.
Back in December, Kennedy released his second CD entitled "No Turning Back." Recorded at Jared Logan Recording Co. in Racine, "No Turning Back" contains all original compositions by Kennecy, one of which, called "The Days," talks of growing up here. To hear it, and other samples of Kennedy's music, go to http://www. bigjoekennedy. comhttp://www. myspace. com/bigjoekennedy”
The Journal Times
“...The keys are manned by Joe Kennedy. He might be one of the youngest among these veteran musicians of a 40-years-running Pogo's event that's seen hundreds of players come and go, but he's got to be one of the best this room's ever seen. When it's his turn to solo, he opens it up, playing something forceful, fun and completely fitting -- even if you won't find the notes he's playing or the shape he's giving to this beast outlined on paper anywhere in the world.
...Kennedy's muse apparently just told him that a circus-y direction is the way to go, so he goes, descending for two bars in a series of notes that pump extra whimsy into the mix -- just before resolving in a stuttering, speech-inflected burst of dotted-eighth-notes. (Think of someone punctuating a spoken tirade with "and that ... is ... the ... truth!")...”
Las Vegas CityLife (Dec 4, 2008)