Alum

Kenny Werner

Position
Artistic director
Faculty Bio E-Mail

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Kenny Werner has been a world-class pianist and composer for more than forty years. In 1996 he published his landmark book, Effortless Mastery: Liberating The Master Musician Within. Werner has since created videos, lectured world-wide, and authored many articles on how musicians, artists, or even business people can allow their “master creator” within to lift their performance to its highest level, showing us how to be spontaneous, fearless, joyful, and disciplined in our work and in our life. His natural instinct for improvisation led Werner to Berklee in 1970. There he sought tutelage of the renowned piano teacher Madame Chaloff, who became a driving force in Werner's goal to create music conscious of its spiritual intent and essence.

Career Highlights
  • Performed with Randy Brecker, David Sanchez, Scott Colley Antonio Sanchez, Miguel Zenon, Benjamin Koppel, Lionel Loueke, Ferenc Nemeth, Ambrose Akinmusire, Chris Potter, Marcus Gilmore, John Patitucci, and more
  • Recordings include The Melody Trio with Ari Hoenig and Johannes Weidenmueller; Poesia Duo with Joyce Moreno; Coalition with Miguel Zenon, Lionel Loueke, Ferenc Nemeth and Benjamin Koppe; Me, Myself, and I and New York Love Songs (solo); Balloons with Randy Brecker, David Sanchez, John Patitucci and Antonio Sanchez; and many more
  • Earned a Grammy nomination in 2003 in the Best Instrumental Composition category for "Inspiration," from Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner
  • 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship
  • 1995 grant awarded by NEA to compose a piano concerto dedicated to Duke Ellington, performed in February 1996 by the Cologne Radio Orchestra
  • 1993 National Endowment for the Arts grant to present a concert in tribute to Mel Lewis
  • 1985 and 1987 National Endowment For the Arts performance grants
  • Columnist for Jazz Improv Magazine and Downbeat 
Awards
  • Distinguished Artist Award for Composition from the New Jersey Council of the Arts for “Kandinsky,” from Werner's Paintings
Education
  • Alumnus, Berklee College of Music
  • Manhattan School of Music
In Their Own Words

"I want the students to come away with perfect concentration for practicing, combating the feeling of being overwhelmed. Complete freedom in performance. Practicing accepting and loving their playing."

"As a performer, my resume and reputation is well known to the students so they respect where the information is coming from. My book, Effortless Mastery makes me qualified to deal with the unique problems described above."