Like a lot of her fellow students at Cal State Long Beach, Shannon Kennedy is eagerly looking forward to graduating this spring with her Bachelor’s in Music Performance. But even as she considers her options for grad school, the 21-year-old, Orange County, California based musical dynamo is caught up in an exciting whirlwind mode, developing one of contemporary music’s most extraordinarily multi-faceted careers as a composer, producer, performer, independent recording artist and music instructor.
Best known to audiences throughout Southern California as a powerhouse saxophonist, the wildly ambitious multi-talented musician has added numerous instruments to her palette, including piano, pennywhistle and even Native American flute. On her upcoming fifth self-produced recording Behind Your Eyes, Shannon is also stepping out more than ever before as a compelling lead vocalist.
Her expansion into the rock and urban markets with this breakthrough vocal tune builds on her enormous popularity in the jazz world via live solo performances at hotspots like Antonucci’s in Mission Viejo and the Temecula club The Merc, where she plays straight-ahead jazz. She also has played venues like Anaheim’s House of Blues with the popular O.C. based Sade tribute band Taboo, with whom she also shot a TV pilot. Her early 2007 album Steppin’ Up hinted at all of the diversity to come, with forays into pop, blues, funk, gospel, old school pop-soul and even more exotic influences like calypso, tango and bossa nova.
While continuing to developing her career as a solo artist and performer, she is also busy working on numerous extracurricular activities, writing and producing with pop/rock artists and writing and performing soundtrack and pop/contemporary music on her favorite new instrument, the piano.
A Rheuben Allen endorsee and Rico (reeds) Junior Artist, she also has endorsements with the Beechler mouthpiece company and the oboe reed company Marca.
By Jonathan Widran