Robert Kennedy is a San-Francisco-based jazz organist, accordionist, pianist, and composer. He has released two albums as a leader of organ-centered jazz combos, and appears as a sideman on recordings of straight-ahead and acoustic / hot-club jazz, rock, fusion, and pop. To book Robert for live performance or recording work, please see the Contact page.
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 performed as a member of the SFJAZZ Monday Night Band. He has had the pleasure of playing venues such as Yoshi’s, the Boom Boom Room, San Francisco International Arts Festival, Doc’s Lab, the Agenda Lounge (back in the day), and the SFJAZZ Miner Auditorium, and has shared stages and recorded with renowned players such as Nancy Wright, Calvin Keys, Howard Alden, Howard Wiley, Will Weston, Terrence Brewer, Jinx Jones, Bing Nathan, and many more, playing jazz, blues, pop, 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 and of The International Café Music Society. He is a proud member of the Recording Academy (NARAS) and the Independent Musicians Alliance.
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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.
Want to purchase a digital download?
- You can purchase Robert’s 2018 album Closer to Home (or individual tracks) as full-resolution lossless files or lossy files in a variety of formats on Bandcamp (recommended) or as 16-bit lossless files or lossy files in a variety of formats on Qobuz. You can purchase some kind of MP3 downloads at Amazon.
- You can purchase the Robert Kennedy Trio’s 2015 album release Big Shoes (or individual tracks) as full-resolution lossless files or lossy files in a variety of formats on Bandcamp (recommended) or as 16-bit lossless files or lossy files in a variety of formats on Qobuz. You can purchase some kind of MP3 downloads at Amazon.
Want to stream Robert’s music?
- Listen to Robert’s 2018 album Closer to Home on
- Listen to Robert Kennedy Trio’s 2015 album Big Shoes on
Want to learn some of the basics of playing Jazz Hammond Organ yourself, at your own pace? I’m proud to be one of the instructors for PianoGroove, where subscribers have access to my Intro to Hammond Organ course consisting of ten lessons. PianoGroove also has a wealth of content in our jazz piano lessons, and much of what you learn there about jazz piano will apply to organ or indeed any instrument that can play chords.
- A New Accordion-Nerd Video!
- Phineas Newborn, and Revisiting the Question of “What Good are Scales?”
- Fun with Fills, What Good are Scales, and Thoughts on Growing Musical Vocabulary
- A Disappointment with My New Organ Clone
- Musing on Music Media: CD, Vinyl, and Streaming — Audio Media Sound Quality, and How We Got Here