Kim Pensyl on His Latest CD, Music Education and The ILove of Family
By Kim Betton, CRESCENDOjazz.com
Jun 1, 2009, 09:28
Kim Pensyl takes you on a smooth ride as he glides across the keyboard in his latest contemporary jazz CD “When Kaitie Smiles.” A flavor of pop, a touch of rock, and a clutch of classical music make for a fine jazz grove. And there’s more – the recording, on the Penton Music Productions Label has an endearing meaning that captures the essence of its title. “It’s named after my daughter,” Pensyl told CRESCENDOjazz.com “My daughter's name is Katherine. It's all based around when she smiles she lights up the room,” Pensyl proudly replied. “I also named the recording “Tickle Me Again” for my son. My children are my pride and joy, “ he said. “I am constantly reinforced by my surroundings and that plays into my music. My family is a constant source of inspiration.”
In addition to his fans. Pensyl hopes his message carries throughout all walks of life. The keyboardist said he’s also dedicates this CD to Robin Roberts, anchor for ABC’s Good Morning America, who continues to touch so many lives in her walk as a cancer survivor. “The things that intrigued me are the inspirations that so many brave people share with others. It all happened on television when she shared her message. I was inspired. .She affected me immediately and that piece had to come out. So thank you Robin Roberts.”
The artist, arranger, composer and producer shares the success of the new recording with musicians he’s played with for many years-- Such as Reggie Jackson on drums; Diane Shour on vocals. Kevin Turner – guitar, Andy Woodson - base, Jim Ed Cobbs on percussions. Pensyl says the ultimate goal is to reach the fans. “Melody is the key. I feel I am blessed to know how to create a good melody,” he said. ‘The landscape is to reinforce the message
I'm trying to deliver. I hope it reaches people because it's an honest representation of me.”
When Katie Smiles is a silky smooth jazz recording that jumps into up tempo rhythms that the jazz lover truly appreciates. “The biggest thing for me is to have my music to serve as a positive inspiration. To make people feel good,” added Pensyl. “Hopefully through the communication of the music some of that rubs off.”
The Columbus, Ohio native first tapped into musical instruments while growing up in Columbus, Ohio. He started on trumpet in the fifth grade. He says it really was by seeing music mogul Herb Albert performing. “I saw Herb Albert and said I want to do that! So I began writing songs at 13 years old – writing basic cords and singing.” Also inspired by Miles Davis, Wayne Shorer and Freddie Hubbard, Pensyl picked up piano a few years later. In graduate school he began working with classical orchestra - and the rest is history. “I am still intrigued.. I just love the way harmony goes together,” said Pensyl.
Pensyl takes his music beyond the studio and into the classroom. He’s an assistant professor of Jazz Studies at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. The multi-talented musician stands strong on the issue of keeping music in our public schools. “There are times in class when we discuss the business of music. I tell them to stay focused and reach for the top. I also tell them that “your job right now is to learn how to play great. it's important to dig deep and when you're all done it's the person who communicates his music and message the best that will reach the top..”
"When Katie Smiles"
When Katie Smiles
Where'd Love Go?
Here Comes The Rain
Beside The Shallow Pond
On This Day
Love Comes First
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