Three-time Grammy® Award-winning tenor sax player Tivon Pennicott makes his Annenberg Center debut with this performance. Known for his innovative, original compositions, whose sound “is sweet to listen to, like drinking warm honey” (All About Jazz), Pennicott will be joined by drummer Kenneth Salters, a regular on Manhattan’s West Village independent jazz scene.
Says Pennicott, “Kenneth and I have a connection and desire to catch the wave of musical bliss. Over the last 10 years of creating music together in New York City, we now could practically finish each other's musical sentences within our grooves of streams of consciousness. For [the] program, expect a musical conversation that conveys our personal opinions and sense of purpose in these particular times. We are a sax and drums duo. We are the duo dialogue.”
A live Q&A, incorporating questions from the audience, will be included in the show. Visit AnnenbergCenter.org for more information.
About Tivon Pennicott (Saxophone)
For years, Tivon Pennicott has been transporting audiences and listeners to a higher level of consciousness. The highly sought-after saxophone player, composer and multi-instrumentalist is a three-time Grammy® winner, appearing on Esperanza Spalding’s album Radio Music Society (Heads Up International, 2012) and Gregory Porter’s Liquid Spirit (Blue Note, 2013). He has collaborated with visionaries such as Stevie Wonder, Roy Hargrove, Maria Schneider, Randy Brecker and Wynton Marsalis, and continues to enjoy a decade-long association with Kenny Burrell and the Jazz Heritage All-Stars. Touring the world with Porter, Pennicott has performed at iconic venues including The Royal Albert Hall in London, the Berliner Philharmonie in Germany and Carnegie Hall in New York. On screen, he has become a fixture on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as a regular member of the Stay Human band led by Jon Batiste, with whom he has also played a weeklong engagement at the Village Vanguard.
A Georgia native living in New York City, Pennicott earned his Bachelor of Arts in music from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. As a player, Pennicott expresses an evolving sound, the result of a soulful and sophisticated foundation for groove he established at church, and a penchant for harmonic exploration that reflects the depth of his ear. While he has played an elemental role in advancing and transforming sounds of many innovative artists, Pennicott’s work as a leader is only beginning. His quartet has appeared at the Atlanta Jazz Festival and Spivey Hall in 2017 and 2018, respectively, as well as Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and The Jazz Gallery in New York City.
Strong intention and receptive impulses that allow him to serve every situation—from Ari Hoenig’s rhythmic labyrinths to Al Foster’s resonating soundscapes—pervade Pennicott’s original compositions. In 2014, Pennicott released his debut album Lover of Nature on New Phrase Records, a project that features the equally curious musical minds of Mike Battaglia (piano), Spencer Murphy (bass) and Kenneth Salters (drums). As his career continues its upward trajectory, Pennicott recently wrapped up his sophomore recording, Spirit Garden, due for release on October 27.
“Tivon's got it all: sound, swing, chops, ideas, flow, conviction, joy, soul... He's a careful craftsman, a fearless improviser, one of the most fluent and engaging saxophonists, on the scene today.” –Joshua Redman
About Kenneth Salters (Drums)
Born in New Haven, CT and raised in Columbia, SC, drummer, composer and bandleader Kenneth Salters began his musical career on trombone before pursuing his studies as a percussion major at the University of South Carolina. Since moving to New York in 2006, Salters has worked with numerous luminaries in jazz and R&B including Don Byron, Chris Potter, Aretha Franklin, Myron Walden, Oz Noy, Bert Ligon, Michael Dease, Wycliffe Gordon, Fred Wesley, Steve Houghton, Gordon (Dick) Goodwin and Ron Westray. Salters presented his debut album as a leader, Enter to Exit (Destiny Records), in 2015 and has become a fixture on Manhattan’s West Village independent jazz scene, as well as around the world as an in-demand sideman. For the better part of a decade, Salters’ band has been comprised of a coterie of musicians with whom he has performed several originals and two emotionally significant covers that serve as a memoir to his time in New York City.