Rodney Kendrick was born 1960 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania into a musical family—his father, pianist “Jimmy Kay” Kendrick worked with Sonny Stitt, Illinois Jacquet, and Sam Rivers and his mother Juet was a gospel singer. Kendrick was baptized in the sphere of R&B/funk: At age 18 he toured with legends James Brown and George Clinton—but by 21 he heeded the call of jazz. Moving to New York City in 1981, Kendrick studied under bebop piano hero Barry Harris, and played with Freddie Hubbard and Stanley Turrentine; by the 1990’s, he was musical director for Abbey Lincoln. His first four albums as a leader (1994-1997) cut across generational and stylistic “divides,” featuring contributions from silky-toned tenor master Houston Person, avant-garde aces Arthur Blythe and Dewey Redman, and the unclassifiable Graham Haynes. Kendrick also makes music with his wife, singer/actress, daughter of Diana Ross and Berry Gordy, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, with whom he has a son.