About Ken Navarro
Top charting & award winning contemporary jazz guitarist and composer Ken Navarro is recognized as one of today's leading musicians. His impressive discography of 20 top charting albums showcase his appeal to a wide range of listeners with inspiring compositions and superb guitar performances.
Navarro's latest CD The The Test Of Time is his 20th release and marks a landmark in Ken's musical direction. It is Solo Guitar like you never imagined it. In each of the 12 songs that make up The Test of Time, Navarro delivers a genuine, flawless performance, where all of the melodies, bass lines, harmonies and even percussion are masterfully played simultaneously on just one guitar without any overdubbing. Some of the contemporary classics included are The Police's Message In A Bottle, John Lennon's Imagine, Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman, Pat Metheny's Letter From Home and Santana's Europa. This new release is a huge milestone and leap forward in Navarro's career. The performances are magical in many ways and will be appreciated by a wide audience. Navarro's mastery of the many different styles is breathtaking. He has infused himself in each style of solo guitar playing so that it transcends the song and style and becomes an original Ken Navarro masterpiece.
Ken's 19th CD release Dreaming of Trains was released on March 16, 2010. It received two pre-nominations for the 2011 Grammy awards. Ken's nine new compositions and his signature acoustic and electric guitar work are supported by world class musicians including drummer Joel Rosenblatt (Spyro Gyra, Manhatten Transfer), acoustic and electric bassist Tom Kennedy (Dave Weckl, Al DiMeola), and keyboardist Jay Rowe (Special EFX, Marion Meadows). Dreaming of Trains" was the follow up to his breakthrough release of 2008, The Grace of Summer Light which was named the #1 Contemporary Jazz CD of 2008 by Jazz Times magazine.
Navarro's 2007 CD The Meeting Place and his 2005 release Love Coloured Soul were in the National Jazz Charts for 62 weeks, reaching #6 in Radio & Records national smooth jazz airplay chart in November of 2005. Love Coloured Soul marked Ken's return to his own record label, Positive Music Records. Ken's 2003 release All The Way, and his 2002 CD Slow Dance spawned numerous radio hits including Bringing Down The House," In The Sky Today," So Fine" and Healing Hands." Ken's 2000 CD release Island Life scored two hits at smooth jazz radio including Delicioso," as well as the title track keeping the CD on the airwaves for a solid 52 weeks! 1999's In My Wildest Dreams continues to be one of Ken's top sellers and 1998's live CD & Video Ablaze in Orlando has been acclaimed as one of the best live jazz CDs of the decade. Smooth Sensation, released in 1997, was in the Top 10 of Radio & Records' Smooth Jazz chart for 12 weeks, helping to make the CD the #17 Smooth Jazz album of 1997! Other recent releases from Ken Navarro include his 1996 album, When Night Calls, featuring Eric Marienthal on saxophone, and Christmas Cheer, a holiday album of contemporary jazz guitar and acoustic piano duets.
Ken's 1995 album, Brighter Days, was voted the #9 album of the year by Smooth Jazz radio. Brighter Days heralded a bold step forward for Ken, bringing to the forefront the strong R&B elements that have always been a part of his music, and enlisting a powerhouse of support from featured solo artists including former Rippingtons sax man Brandon Fields. Brighter Days reached the national radio top 5 and held a position in the top 20 for six months in 1995. His 1991 release, After Dark, was selected for screening by the 1991 GRAMMY nominating committee. His successive albums, The Labor of Love (1992), I Can't Complain (1993), and Pride and Joy (1994), all reached the top 5 in national radio, firmly establishing Ken Navarro as a mainstay on Smooth Jazz radio play lists.
Ken began his recording career in Los Angeles as a premier session guitarist, performer and composer, performing and recording with artists as diverse as Doc Severinsen, Nell Carter, John Patitucci, Eric Gale, Vicki Carr, Dave Koz, Ann Jillian and Alex Acuna. In 1990, Ken established his own musical identity with the release of his debut album, The River Flows. With each successive album, Ken has received increasing acclaim and recognition as a leading stylist in Contemporary Jazz. His music is distributed throughout the world from Japan to Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Britain, Australia, Chile, Brazil, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and even in China. Customized greatest hit collections were recently released in Singapore and Japan.
Ken maintains an active schedule of concert appearances at festivals, clubs, performing arts centers, including The Green Note/Osaka, Japan, The RamsHead/Annapolis, MD, Blues Alley/Washington,DC, Scullers/Boston, MA, Soiled Dove/Denver, CO, Penns Landing, Phila, PA, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, Chene Park Detroit, MI, Merriweather-Post Pavillion/MD, JVC Jazz Fest (multiple cities), Sunfest/Miami, FL, Jacksonville Jazz Fest, Clearwater Jazz Fest, Pleasure Island Jazz Festival, Winter Park Arts Festival, Thornton Winery/San Diego, CA, KC Spirit Festival, Ruth Eckert PAC/Tampa,FL, Bob Carr PAC/Orlando, FL, Bass PAC/Dallas, TX, and more. where Ken has shared the stage with artists such as Spyro Gyra, Chuck Mangione, Najee, Chris Botti, The Rippingtons, David Sanborn, Joe Sample, Jean Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke, Larry Carlton, George Howard, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Keiko Matsui, David Benoit, Boney James and many others.
Ken's contribution to Contemporary and Mainstream Jazz goes beyond his personal artistry. Ken has produced successful albums for Narada/EMI recording artist Eric Darius as well as saxophonist Randy Villars and pianist Jay Rowe to name a few. As founder of Positive Music Records, Ken is responsible for launching and furthering the recording careers of saxophonist Brandon Fields, guitarists Grant Geissman, Thom Rotella and Pat Kelley, and keyboardists Gregg Karukas, Jay Rowe and Marcus Johnson. Ken's vision of a musician's record label has enhanced the genre with over 35 new artists and seventy releases.