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photo credits:Butch Worrell, Ed Tonkay, Jeff Lloyd

Kenny Brooks' story began in Oakland, Ca., where he was inspired to play reed instruments from the age of 9. After graduating from El Cerrito H.S. in 1984 he went directly to the New England Conservatory at age 17. There he studied with master saxophonist George Garzone and other notable faculty including George Russell, Bob Moses and Ken Radnofsky. Brooks received his B.M. in '88 and returned to the Bay Area in '89.

His work in the early 90's included the Peck Allmond Group, the afro-pop group Kotoja and the start of his long-term association with legendary drummer Eddie Marshall.

1991 was the birth year of Brooks' groundbreaking hip/hop-jazz band Alphabet Soup. Co-founded with pianist Dred Scott, Alphabet Soup remains one of San Francisco's most popular bands. Alphabet Soup was the first hip/hop-jazz group at both the Monterey and San Francisco Jazz Festivals.

In 1992 he recorded with his hero and teacher Joe Henderson on Kitty Margolis' CD "Evolution".

In 1994 Kenny Brooks and Charlie Hunter began a run of almost 3 years playing duo and trio every Friday night at the SOMA nightspot the Up and Down Club.

In 1996 Brooks joined the Charlie Hunter Quartet. They recorded the CD "Natty Dread" for Blue Note and toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. By 1995 Brooks was leading a trio under his own name with Eddie Marshall and top Bay Area bassist Jeff Chambers. Brooks played at the Monterey Jazz Festival in '83, '89, '90, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95 and '99.

Other international festivals include the North Sea, Montreaux, Istanbul, What Is Jazz? (Knitting Factory), Copenhagen, Molde (Norway), Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and many others. Gigs have included venues such as the House of Blues (New Orleans, L.A., Cambridge, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Myrtle Beach), Yoshi's, Knitting Factory, Red Rocks, L.A. Greek Theater, and Berkeley Greek Theatre, to name just a few.

Brooks has toured to Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, England, Germany, Turkey and Holland. He has played and recorded with many notable musicians such as Mike Clark, Ohio Players, Steve Smith, Les Claypool, MMW, Josh Roseman etc. In 2006 he recorded on Chuck MacKinnon's new CD as well as DJ Teeko's "My Soundstation" and appearing with Teeko's 41Funk Jam Band.

From 2000 - 2010 Brooks played no less than 750 shows with Bob Weir and RatDog, where the language of John Coltrane intersected with the language of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead to electrifying effect. ---see YouTube:RatDog

Moving to NYC in 2007 opened up a whole new world of musical opportunities including work with Anthony Pinciotti's Green Lotus Project, Brian Charette, Levon Helm and many others. Brooks can be heard regularly at places like the 55 Bar, Small's, Rockwood Music Hall and others.

© 2016 Kenneth A. Brooks