Innovator and multi-instrumentalist, Bernie Kenerson says it’s time to bring the Akai EWI 4000s out to the forefront and give it some r-e-s-p-e-c-t! With his talent and ability, he will do just that. He’s a producer, composer and arranger who plays many different electric wind instruments, saxophones, flutes, clarinets and keyboards.
He was born to musical parents and began playing clarinet at age 7, sax at age 10 and flute at age 13. He started his professional career at age 16 in his hometown of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He joined the U. S. Army at age 17 and has fourteen years experience as an instrumentalist and arranger in Army Bands.
His musical studies include a Two Year Professional Diploma from Berklee College of Music and a Bachelor of Music Degree from Appalachian State University where he formed the Neo-jazz band, ‘Slipstream’, and the group’s self produced album ‘Afterglow’ received Downbeat magazine’s 1982 DeeBee award for best college group and Bernie received an Outstanding Soloist award on Lyricon.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Bernie lived in Brussels, Belgium where he performed in a variety of groups at concerts and festivals throughout Western Europe, Scandinavia and Morocco. Bernie moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in May 1995 and has been busy performing and recording; highlighted by three years in the house band at the Jasmine Supper Club (a 7 night-a-week jazz venue) where he performed nightly and shared the stage with jazz artists’ Gato Barbieri, Kim Waters, The Yellowjackets, Joe Beck, Bob James, and the legendary Jimmy Smith.
Bernie can be heard on many Beach Music CDs, including a dozen in the Beach Music top 100 and has received three Cammy Awards. He’s recently performing with Make My Jungle Electric, Dedicated Magic, his own band The Bernie Kenerson Group and working on solo CD projects. Bernie began performing on electric wind instruments in April 1978 with the Lyricon.
He currently plays the new Akai EWI 4000s as his main instrument and displays a wealth of expression and artistry on this unique electric horn. His new CD release Just You & Me (The Art of the EWI) merges a traditional jazz approach with original contemporary jazz compositions which feature the EWI as the lead instrument with a wonderful live rhythm section. Bernie is a pleasure to hear no matter what horn he has in his hands and his EWI playing is exciting and refreshing.