Jazz, Rock, Blues, World, and various others
Began working as a professional musician in 1970 doing concerts and recordings. Released an LP “Just Being Natural” in 1972. Active as a recording session musician from the 1970s to the present. Active doing live performances as a solo artist and with a variety groups.
1980 formed “The Heartland Consort” for performance and recording. 1981-1993 Artist In Residence at Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA This residency included performances with Stephane Grapelli, Bill Evans, Woody Shaw, Phil Woods, Gary Burton, and many more.
1984 German record label Enja Records released a self-titled LP of the group’s music. 1986 formed indie record label Heart Consort Music which currently has 29 CD releases with worldwide distribution. 1990 formed James Kennedy & Friends group for performance and recording, the group is still active in both performance and recording with 3 out of 4 of it’s original members.
Active voting member of the Recording Academy since 2000. Has submitted new music to the Grammy Awards process for 19 consecutive years.
Active in many online “collaborative” music communities. Current/Active member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 137. Remains active in composing and submitting music for film, TV, commercials, and other projects through Broadjam, Film Music Jobwire, Music Gateway, and various other entities. Mount Vernon, Iowa Community Development Group produced 3 promotional videos for international distribution featuring 3 of James’ pieces.
Music was selected for independent film “Pirate Island” which is currently in production (paused due to Covid-19)
Music was selected for Independent “short film” “East of Middlewest” which is currently in production.
While Covid-19 has forced the cancellation of “in-person” performances, James and his group have been doing “virtual” concerts when possible. James has also capitalized on this time to work on new music using a custom built Brazilian 10-string “viola caipira” guitar and hopes to release the new material in the near future.