VIP – Judith Jamison

4 Jun 2010 – 6:12 PM Comments

Dancer VIP: Judith Jamison – Alvin Ailey former Artistic Director

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Kenna – New Sacred Cow

Submitted by on 23 Mar 2007 – 12:34 PM Comments

Hiding under his jacket hood, an innovative artist that doesn’t fit the mold but makes the mold is the talented musician Kenna. Having mastered the art of being incognito, it is time for Kenna to take off his hood and reveal his unique and original sound to the world.

His CD, New Sacred Cow (Columbia Records), produced by the acclaimed Chad Hugo of The Neptunes, was released back in 2003. The first time I heard this record I immediately fell in love with it. It was so diverse. His music didn’t fit into just one category because the sound was unlike anything else out there. The music drew me in with powerful beats and Kenna’s unique voice. He is a true chameleon of art.

Kenna said, “We made this record so it would stand the test of time. We didn’t make a record that would fit the ’60s, the ’70s, the ’80s, or today. It’s not like that. We wrote a record that can be heard now or ten years from now, and it’s always going to be classic.” Kenna performed on a North American tour with Depeche Mode in 2003, and MTV’s “You Hear It First” tour with Common, Bubba Sparx, Anthony Hamilton, Jin, the Exies, and Fiction Plane.

Born in Ethiopia, this gifted musician and I met a couple years ago in Virginia Beach where he was raised. He was walking by on the sidewalk and said to me, “Nice kicks.” (Kenna has great respect for a nice pair of sneakers.) We talked for hours about music, but I had no clue who he was. He somehow managed to leave a lasting impression on me. We kept bumping into each other at various clubs and we became friends. Still, I didn’t even know he was such a talented artist until I heard his CD. That’s what is so amazing about Kenna; he is unbelievably modest. Kenna is also extremely giving. He encourages music and art in everyone and even gave me his first guitar when I told him I wanted to learn how to play. He doesn’t like to admit it, but he is actually a fabulous dancer and he has some killer moves on the dance floor. In his spare time, he also collects Apple computers, having more than the Apple store in SoHo. For inspiration, Kenna said, “I wrote my songs for people, and I will perform them for people. Giving to audiences is when I feel best. “He writes his music for us and our enjoyment. It’s time for him to get a little back of what he gives: the hood is off.”

Julie Nelson