“Kendrick Scott is a jazz drummer conversant in an
ultramodern sense of propulsion.”
– The New York Times
Kendrick ‘KADS’ Scott, born July 8, 1980, and raised in Houston, Texas, is an artist of incredible depth, talent, and determination. He has been featured in Terence Blanchard’s band for the last six years and has appeared on the Grammy Award-winning and nominated recordings, A Tale of God’s Will, and Flow, on which he contributed original compositions and orchestrations. Since arriving in New York City in 2003, Scott has appeared on numerous records as a sideman, and on the soundtracks to seven feature films. He is recognized as an endorser by Yamaha Corporation, Remo, Vater, Puresound, Zildjian Cymbals, Protechtor, Craviotto Snare Drums and Danmar Percussion.
However, touring the world and recording with the likes of Blanchard, as well as Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, Maria Schneider, Wayne Shorter, Musiq Soulchild, Christian McBride, David Sanborn, Dianne Reeves, John Patitucci, The Crusaders, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Robert Glasper, Stefon Harris, Kenny Garrett, Pat Metheny, Nicholas Payton, Patti Austin, Angelique Kidjo, Lionel Loueke, Roy Hargrove, Raul Midon, Gretchen Parlato plus playing on numerous film soundtracks by Spike Lee and other filmmakers, is not nearly enough for the uber-talented 29-year old.
While excelling in the business of playing music, Scott decided to plunge head first into the business of running a record label. In preparation for his debut recording as a leader, the drummer discovered the need for himself and other artists to have a new platform from which they could release their music. Scott also had no desire to place the destiny of his first recording in the hands of a traditional record label. In 2007, he launched World Culture Music with the release of Kendrick Scott Oracle – The Source.
Kendrick Scott grew up in a household of musicians. He first encountered the drums in church where his parents and older brother were involved in the music ministry. By age six, Scott’s parents (Stepheny and Kenneth) could see that the young man’s interest in the drums was not a passing fancy, so they set him up with sticks, a pad and lessons. “As a kid, I remember listening to the music at church and feeling chills in my body. I knew then, that music was my calling.” Years later his hard work, and the great support of his family, enabled Scott to attend Houston’s renowned High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (other graduates include Mike Moreno, Robert Glasper, Jason Moran, Eric Harland, Beyonce and many others). While a student, he won Downbeat Magazine student awards, plus the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz award, presented by the IAJE and the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. He was later awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music where he majored in Music Education. “Going to Berklee was pivotal for my growth as a musician. I met so many great amazing musicians and friends,” he exclaims. As an undergrad, Scott gigged with Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, and Kenny Garrett. Upon graduation, he already had offers from Joe Sample and Terence Blanchard.
The title track of his debut CD, The Source, was originally recorded on Terence Blanchard’s 2005 record, Flow, for Blue Note Records. Flow features Scott as well as pianist and producer Herbie Hancock who plays on Scott’s composition. “Being a part of Terence’s group for three years has been a godsend. He has given the members of the band freedom to grow and cultivate our voices. When we went in to record ‘The Source’ Herbie said he would play on it; one can only imagine how I felt.” If that weren’t enough, Scott’s composition was the Grammy nominated track (for Hancock’s solo). “I knew when I went in to record my record that ‘The Source’ would be the title track. It’s is an homage to humanity. While the world is at unrest, I believe compassion will prevail.”
Kendrick Scott is one of the bright stars in an amazingly talented group of young drummers on the scene today. He remains a first call player for major artists because his humanity and compassion extends into the notes and phrases he chooses to play, which makes his playing consistently ring true as it springs forth from an ego-less, honest place. These deep roots, connected to his mentors, inspirations, peers, his parents and to the church, enable Scott to be present and in the moment, bringing to the table the wisdom of a veteran musician and the adventurousness of a perpetually curious young artist.
In the words of Terence Blanchard, “Kendrick is a true artist of the highest order. He is not bound by the conventional wisdom of the music world. I’ve noticed that he never says why, but rather why not. He is exactly what the music world needs: someone with the vision and courage to press forward and expand the world of music. I am blessed to have him around and look forward to seeing what he does every time we play.”