KENNY WHITE comes to the world of the touring singer-songwriter following a long and successful musical journey. An accomplished pianist, who also performs on guitar, Kenny has now become more known for his clever lyrics. LONG LIST OF PRIORS, his aptly named current album, is the latest collection of original songs: snapshots of the human condition. Audiences often comment that a Kenny White concert moves them to laughter and tears — sometimes within the same song! “If Mark Twain could sing and play piano like a virtuoso, his name would be Kenny White.” –Stu Kuby, The Strand, Hudson Falls, NY. Kenny recently completed an 18-month tour performing his original songs while traveling as the opener for Stephen Stills & Judy Collins, and has toured for many years with Cheryl Wheeler. He is looking forward to returning to the road to perform his own full-length shows.
Born in New York City and raised across the river in Fort Lee, NJ, Kenny White began his career in the 1970s, touring exclusively as the keyboard player for Jonathan Edwards and later with Livingston Taylor, on Linda Ronstadt’s legendary, “Living in the USA” tour.
He became a fixture in the NYC studio scene throughout the 1980s and 1990s, producing and arranging hundreds of commercials for TV and radio, beginning with “The Unsinkable Taste of Cheerios,” nearly seven years of Chevrolet’s “Heartbeat of America” campaign, countless ads for Coca Cola and many others. Commercial work enabled White to direct artists as renowned and varied as Linda Ronstadt, Gladys Knight, Mavis Staples, Ricky Skaggs, and Aaron Neville. White contributed to film soundtracks as writer/musician including Message in a Bottle, Where the Heart Isand four films by Indie-director laureate, John Sayles. Kenny also appears on dozens of recordings of other musicians, including Marc Cohn’s platinum debut.
Whenever he could break free from the recording studios, Kenny would often support other musicians in live concerts. After being hailed by reviewers from the New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle for his “thrilling” and “unique” piano playing, White chose, in 2001, to devote himself to making his own album, one that not only showcased his talent as a musician, but also as a lyricist. Friends such as Cheryl Wheeler invited White to tour as an opening act on behalf of his first album, UNINVITED GUEST. He also toured as the Special Guest opener for Judy Collins, who signed him to her own Wildflower Records label, releasing SYMPHONY IN 16 BARS in 2005 and NEVER LIKE THIS in 2006. COMFORT IN THE STATIC, released in 2010, landed on many “Favorite Album of the Year” radio lists.
Kenny White’s record producing credits include Shawn Colvin’s Grammy-nominated song, “I Don’t Know Why,” as well as the last four solo CDs for Peter Wolf, formerly with the J. Geils Band, with a new album anticipated for 2022. Their second album, SLEEPLESS was named one of Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” The productions with Wolf, enabled Kenny to work with an array of guest artists including Merle Haggard and Keith Richards.
White’s music has been discovered in the UK and Europe, where he tours annually in the Spring. He was awarded the International Songwriting Award at the Premio Ciampi music festival in Livomo, Italy. And though he has all but given up his days as a sideman, in 2014, he accepted an offer by none other than Tom Jones to play in his ‘soul quartet’ for a sold-out, three-week US tour.
SPOTTISWOODE is an award-winning bandleader, singer-songwriter, scriptwriter and filmmaker. For the past two decades, the Anglo-American has been the frontman of the septet, Spottiswoode & His Enemies. The New Yorker refers to him as a “genius” and “downtown ringleader”. With the band, he has released seven acclaimed records, performed numerous Manhattan residencies, and toured extensively from SXSW and Lille Europe to Lincoln Center.
In addition to recording with his Enemies, Spottiswoode has released three solo albums and a duo collection. His songs have been featured in a wide variety of films and television shows. He has been nominated for multiple Independent Music Awards, the piano ballad, Chariot, earning him the prize for Best Adult Contemporary Song.
Spottiswoode’s music travels the gamut, drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen, Ray Davies, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Randy Newman and Jim Morrison. Still, he’s very much his own man. He “evokes real emotions, sometimes different ones in a single song” (Dan Reed, WXPN).
Two music videos Spottiswoode directed while at film school earned consecutive Student Emmys in Los Angeles. He later wrote and co-directed The Gentleman, a short film that played Slamdance and the BBC Short Film Festival before being picked up by the Independent Film Channel. Spottiswoode then went on to write several feature screenplays with the hope of directing them himself. However, he was too busy playing and recording with his band to fulfil the ambition. So he decided to write a musical instead!
Above Hell’s Kitchen, his rock opera loosely inspired by Mozart’s Don Giovanni, was first performed at a sold-out staged reading at Joe’s Pub in the New York Public Theater. It was then accepted by the highly competitive New York Musical Theatre Festival for six fully staged performances. Spottiswoode and his band won first prize for Best Orchestration. He has since written a slightly revised version set in London – Between The Angel And The Old Kent Road – as well as screenplay incarnations of both the New York and London stories.
By a very strange twist of fate, Spottiswoode’s dream of getting a feature script made recently turned into reality. His namesake, Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies, Under Fire, Turner & Hooch) read two of Jonathan’s screenplays. Roger, who is no direct relation, liked them both. He decided to option Either Side Of Midnight, a lyrical tale of four colliding stories set in New York City over one Friday night. The film was shot in New York at the very end of 2019 and edited during lockdown. Roger and his producers are now looking for a distributor.
Encouraged by that success, Jonathan has kept writing – screenplays, pilots, even another musical. He continues to record and perform as well. Now based in London, Spottiswoode looks forward to touring solo in Europe later this year and also to a return to New York to plays some shows with his band.