Every few months we try to feature a few songs or albums that we’re listening to here at Teen Jazz. We’ll showcase the playlists of our host, Shannon Kennedy, as well as a few of our Teen Jazz Artists, Contributors and Influences. We hope you enjoy getting an inside look, and even more importantly, we hope you discover some great music!


Shannon Kennedy, Teen Jazz Host

Joshua Redman Elastic

This has been one of my favorite albums since high school and I’ve recently started listening to it again. There are so many great tracks on this album but if I had to pick just one, it would probably be “Oumou”. It’s one of the few on which he plays alto. I could definitely listen to Elastic on repeat. It definitely sticks with you.


Yellowjackets Time Squared

Still going for a bit of nostalgia here. I’ve recently been getting back into the stuff that I loved as a teen. This is another great album that I listened to until I wore it out back in high school and I am so glad I gave it another listen.


Khalil Fong Back to Wonderland

This one’s a little different. As many of you may know, I study languages in addition to doing music. One of the languages I study is Mandarin, so I sought out artists from China and Taiwan (music can be a great way to develop your comprehension and speaking in a language). Khalil Fong is an impressive songwriter and vocalist and I’m really digging his music.


Olivia Castle, Teen Jazz Artist

I am a big fan of Classic by Mkto at the moment, I love the message and it has a great beat. Another current favourite is Make Someone Happy, the Jamie Cullum version from his new album Interlude – it is a stunningly good song.



Greg Chambers, Teen Jazz Influence

Brian Culbertson- XII

I love the “live” feel of this album- it seems to start with sort of an impromptu jam, has a stellar horn and rhythm section throughout the CD, great vocal performances (esp. Avant), great drum and bass sequencing.


Euge Groove – Livin’ Large

Absolutely love the 2nd, 7th, and 8th tracks on this CD. Euge always plays with an uncanny level of expression, soul, and feeling and everything about this CD just works!!


Julian Vaughn – Breakthrough

I think Julian will be one of the dominant artists in this genre, if he isn’t already- it certainly helps that I got to know him a bit at NAMM and enjoyed collaborating with him! I think I pretty much wore out this CD and love Marcus Anderson’s and Darren Rahn’s sax work on it too.


Dave Koz – Saxophonic

This album is probably one of my all time favorites and DK is certainly a huge inspiration to me- I particularly love this album for the variety and the way that the personalities of all the instrumentalists really shine through.


U-Nam, Teen Jazz Influence

Bounce” Craig Sharmat

Probably one of the most fresh and exciting songs, I’ve heard in a long time. A very clever mix of Groove “A La Stevie Wonder” and Gypsy Jazz; they called that Funky Django. Great musicianship on this track, the guitar has a beautiful sound and Craig is playing a very nice mix of Gypsy Jazz and Funky licks on his acoustic guitar.


“That’s Right” George Benson (from the album That’s Right)

One of my favorite songs on one of my favorite George Benson albums. Released in 1993 and recorded at Prince’s Paysley Park Studios, with Prince’s drummer Michael Brand and the Petterson’s “Funky” Brothers (Ricky and Paul). The song was actually co-written by one of my very good friends, drummer Michael White ( which plays on most of all my albums). GB is delivering one of my favorite guitar solos mixed with intricate jazz licks, lightning-fast arpeggios and some Funky licks with a sense of timing, command and rhythm that only George has the secret to executing.


Summertime” DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince

Will Smith AKA Fresh Prince’s big first hit, based on Kool and the Gang’s “Summer Madness”. A very smooth fresh/fun hip hop groove tune that actually gave me the idea for a remix of my new single “Throwback Kid”. It actually made go back to listen to early Kool and the Gang Jazz/Funk albums from the 70’s…

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.