KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION

With credits ranging from Stevie Wonder, Gregory Porter and Andra Day to Lauryn Hill and a roster of acclaimed «musician’s musicians» in between

  • the Kennedy Administration’s instrumental trio has seen, heard and played a lot of great music over the past few years. The band has been refining their sound and irresistible stage presence for three years at their Groove residency in NYC. With this quartet's singular namesake at the microphone, Kennedy, you’ll experience right away how hard it is not to be captured by her joy and energy. Forging a sound and identity for itself, the Kennedy Administration is creating sensory, soulful modern jazz with elements of R&B, hip-hop and pop judiciously applied. You will move to the rhythms of Nat Townsley and feel every vibe Ondre J plays when the funk, jazz and R&B sounds leave the keys.

    Kennedy's joy and passion are contagious. This particular Kennedy Administration is ushering in a brand new «Great Society» of sweet music.

    KENNEDY, Lead Singer Motor City native Kennedy made her way to New York not too long ago. She carved out a formidable body of work thanks to a vocal style that combines resemblances of significant influences like Ella Fitzgerald, Sade, Anita Baker, a dash of Luther Vandross, and a particular mix of playfulness and seductive poise. In a few short years since coming east, in one of the world's most competitive entertainment capitals, Kennedy has amassed gigs and collaborations with Lalah Hathaway, Christina Aguilera, Kenny Lattimore, Monifah and Cheryl Pepsi- Riley.

    ONDRE J, Keys Ondre is a celebrated keyboardist, composer, recording artist and bandleader from the Czech Republic. On this side of the Atlantic Ocean, he’s also music director and resident organ player at a Gospel Church in Brooklyn. In 2016 he made his first appearance, courtesy of Grammy Award winning jazz singer Gregory Porter, on a recording for the venerable Blue Note jazz label. His resumé already boasted dates Glastonbury and North Sea Jazz festivals, an opening slot with Andra Day for r&b star Toni Braxton, performance with the legendary hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan and a tour in front of total of 70,000 people as keyboardist for French pop singer Ayo.

    NAT TOWNSLEY, Drums Playing drums in his father's church at the age of three was a natural progression that barely hinted at all this musical prodigy would accomplish. Nathaniel has traveled all over the world, playing a broad range of different genres of music. He utilized his unparalleled skills to record and tour with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Alejandro Sanz, Nile Rogers & Chic, The Zawinul Syndicate, Lalah Hathaway, Jessica Simpson and the Kiss FM Band- Karl Brown Smooth Improvisations, just to name a few. His keenness and sensitivity to music, people and the world around him, continually elevates him beyond being an extraordinary drummer. Truly, even in silence, Nathaniel’s unique touch can be heard through the legacy of his artistry!

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  • Kennedy

    lead singer

    Ondre J

    keys

    Nat Townsley

    drums

    Chelton Grey

    bass

    Vin Landolfi

    guitar
  • ONTOUR

    Fall 2017
    Spring 2018
    Summer 2018
    Fall 2018

    BOOKING

    Europe
    Asia
  • Kennedy Administration | Current Release PR

    Kennedy Administration | Release Review by Bill Milkowski

    A dynamic presence on every bandstand she graces, singer Ms Kennedy brings a captivating soulfulness to the proceedings on Kennedy Administration’s self-titled debut. Whether it’s the funk-laden opener «It’s Over Now,» her smoldering take on Al Green’s «Let’s Stay Together» or energized interpretation of Billy Preston’s “Will It Go Round in Circles,” her own nostalgic “Mama’s Kisses” and other compelling originals like the alluring «Finally,» the anthemic «Victory Song» or the group’s old school throwdown «Let’s Party,» the Michigan native and Brooklyn resident makes a stunning impression on her first recording.

    «I like to describe her as a ‘true artist for no reason’,» says keyboardist-musical director and songwriting partner Ondre J. Pivec, who was born in the Czech Republic, also lives in Brooklyn and is currently touring with Grammy-winning singer Gregory Porter. «The minute we started playing together three years ago, something clicked right-away. It seemed like we both knew what to do to make things work. It was like magic.»

    That magical connection developed on their longstanding Wednesday night residency at Groove, a strictly covers club in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. And while Kennedy Administration delivered on that gig with the kind of crackling intensity of a modern day Rufus & Chaka Khan, Ms Kennedy and Ondre J also proved to be a potent songwriting team when they began collaborating on their originals. «It’s mostly a team of Ondre and myself when it comes to writing, then we’ll take it to the boys and then they start adding bits and pieces to it too, so then it becomes a group creative effort.»

    The boys are bassist Chelton Grey and veteran drummer Nathaniel Townsley, who has played with Joe Zawinul, Richard Bona, Will Downing and Alejandro Sanz. Together with Ms Kennedy, Ondre J, superb backup vocalist Stephanie Fischer and special guest harmonica ace Gregoire Maret, who appears on the alluring bossa nova “Don’t Forget to Smile,” they create an irresistible vibe on their groove-heavy debut.

    While putting the ‘fun’ in funk, Ms Kennedy also conjures up some thoughtful lyrics and meaningful messages on her original tunes. «This is really my first go as far as writing,” she confesses. “And through some of these songs, I’m having an honest, open conversation with a lot of things I don’t usually talk about —heartbreak, the New York experience and the daily struggle of being here, the feeling of loneliness that can set in from being in the big city.»

    «Mama’s Kisses,» for instance, is about wanting that elusive ‘home feeling’ that you can’t always get from living alone in the Big Apple. «I talk to a lot of my friends and we still go home because we need that,» says Kennedy. “So that song is me wishing for that place where I really feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. And I can’t necessarily say that I’ve found that here in New York or have felt that feeling just yet. So it’s kind of a wishful thinking tune for me.»

    Born in small-town Belleville, Michigan outside of Detroit Metro, Kennedy was born on a farm with hogs and chickens and cows. «Then we moved up to Saginaw Township and lived the suburban life — that really conservative, sheltered kind of Bible belt life,» she recalls.

    After living in Chicago for a few years, she moved to New York in February of 2011 for what was supposed to be a six-week stint while working with a cruise line band. «Unfortunately, the job feel through so I spent my first year in New York basically almost homeless, bouncing from place to place. And every time I would try to get out of the city, something else would happen where I would be stuck here. And I was pretty angry for a while because I didn’t want to be in New York. I really felt out of place. But lo and behold, it worked out.»

    That feeling of persevering through adversity comes across in «Victory Song.» As Kennedy explains, «I decided I should write a song that says despite the disappointment and sometimes failures along the way, I’m gonna rise out of this. We performed that song at Rockwood Music Hall, just voice and piano, and I still get chills thinking about it because I had the audience sing the refrain with me ‘I will overcome.’ To be in a room full of people singing that, it was just electric. And a lot of people were in tears, because it’s a powerful message, and it’s beyond just me. It’s a message that people from all walks of life can relate to.»

    From one universal message to another, Kennedy Administration switches gears and keeps it on the goodfoot with the infectious dance number «Let’s Party,» which conjures the upbeat vibe of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Celebrate” or Prince’s Purple Rain classic, «Let’s Go Crazy.» Says Kennedy, «There’s certain songs that you hear and it doesn’t matter where you are, your foot just gets to tappin’. ‘Let’s Party’ is one of those songs. I’ve seen older people, younger people, even babies dance to it. Everybody gets into it. I would love to see this song played at family reunions, graduation parties, wedding receptions, bar mitzvahs. I could imagine people working out to this song at the gym or playing it after their team wins the Super Bowl. I want it to be the soundtrack of your life.»

    From funk throwdowns to alluring bossa nova, thoughtful storytelling and the ultimate party song, Kennedy Administration shows an uncommon diversity on its auspicious first outing. As Kennedy puts it, «I don’t want us to be pigeonholed. I want that freedom and flexibility. Because we really love music, so why not try everything?»

    Adds the Brooklyn-based singer who makes such a striking debut on Kennedy Administration, «I was discouraged a lot after moving to New York but I just kept pushing. My parents were not happy that I didn’t pursue an education and I was just doing music. They didn't like seeing their only daughter struggle. Meanwhile, I was just gung-ho on performing and doing music somehow and not having a mentor, not having anyone leading me or guiding me. So for me, this band is just an example of what happens when you follow your heart…what happens when you wipe those tears and you put those bandaids on the knees and you keep fighting.»

    Author: Bill Milkowski

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  • Trailer

    The Kennedy Administration live @ the Groove NYC, 2016

    Heaven Only Knows/Just The Two Of Us

    The Kennedy Administration - "Heaven Only Knows/Just The Two Of Us" Kennedy (vocals), Ondrej Pivec (keys), Dmitry Gorodetsky(bass), and Nat Townsley (drums)

    Drunk In Live

    Kennedy - Beyonce's "Drunk In Love" / 45 Riots 2015 Big Band Music Video

  •  

    «…If fairness plays any part in quality music reaching the masses these days, then Kennedy Administration will reach new commercial heights with Ms. Kennedy giving the cream of modern soul vocalizing…» ~ John Osborne, Jazz FM, U.K.

    «…This is the pulse of today’s music - from the street to the dance floor to the souls of our youth…» ~ Pete Fallico, KCSM - The Bay Area’s Jazz Station

    «…It’s tough for any great live band to bring the spark of its concert performances into a recording studio, where everything except the clock slows down, and music is assembled piece by painstaking piece. The Kennedy Administration's debut album is a beautiful exception to the rule. [Name of album here] is a group sound that was honed on stage re-emerging in a new form -- a collection of soulful, jazzy original compositions and apt cover songs -- with the essential energy and personality not just intact, but improved.…» ~ Sean Piccoli, music critic, author of biographies on Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead

    «…The Kennedy Administration is a powerhouse group that leaves the audience standing and wanting more EVERY time they perform. They're simply incredible.…» ~ Neal Ludevig Executive Direct of Harlem Arts Festival

    «…Sexy stuff!…» ~ Alisa Clancy Program Director / Host - KCSM

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