“I met Robert at the beginning of his Hammond journey, and where that journey has taken him just amazes me. Everything about this CD [Big Shoes] delights me, especially the writing, Robert’s choice of players and the musical interplay among them, and most importantly, the development of Robert’s distinctive and uniquely melodic voice on the instrument, both as a player and composer. For me, Hammond players make the world a better place, and I am so glad Robert is doing his part! I hope he continues on this journey!” — Nancy Wright [saxophonist to B.B. King, Elvin Bishop, John Lee Hooker, etc.]

Photo by Linda A. Cicero.

Robert Kennedy is a Hammond organist, pianist, and accordionist born and raised in the American South who has lived and worked in the San Francisco bay area since 1988. He played piano in the Stanford University Jazz Band and studied jazz piano with the great jazz pianist, band director, and educator Bill Bell.

Robert was a founding member of the groups Hip Pocket Jazz Quintet and Double Funk Crunch, and has had the pleasure of playing venues such as Yoshi’s, the Boom Boom Room, Doc’s Lab, the Agenda Lounge (back in the day), and the SFJAZZ Miner Auditorium, and has shared stages with renowned players such as Nancy Wright, Calvin Keys, Howard Alden, Will Weston, Terrence Brewer, and many more, playing jazz, blues, R&B, and rock and roll.

His 2015 debut Hammond organ combo release Big Shoes spent nine weeks on the CMJ charts, peaking at #11, and his 2018 album Closer to Home peaked at #5 on NACC’s jazz chart, #1 on RMR’s jazz chart, and #32 on JazzWeek’s Top 50.

Among his many inspirations Robert counts the playing of Jack McDuff, Billy Childs, Larry Goldings, Herbie Hancock, and Tony Monaco.

Robert currently plays accordion as a member of Mission Hot Club.

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Want to purchase a CD?

  • You can buy Robert’s 2018 CD Closer to Home on Bandcamp and Amazon.
  • You can buy the Robert Kennedy Trio’s 2015 CD release Big Shoes on Bandcamp and Amazon.

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