Other Players

Kenny Burrell

2

Yes, I had read it. Very sad indeed. And a great player! I recently started listening to him more and I figured out how to play Midnight Blue. I hope this all will work out for him somehow.

3

That is very sad and hopefully with the support mentioned in the NPR article and support that is available he will get back to being the legend in Jazz guitar he is and especially his teaching and support for aspiring young musicians. Here in the UK we are lucky to have a health and welfare system although not without its faults and difficulties provides a free service that is world class.I first listened to Kenny Burrell playing with Jimmy Smith and was hooked on his playing, sound and timing, quite amazing as mentioned Midnight Blue is him.

4

There's a GoFundMe, which far surpassed it's goal in only 2-3 days.

Here's a letter from Kenny and his wife, Katherine:

Dear Friends,

I sincerely want to thank all of you who have donated to our “Gofundme” request. It is very much needed at this time. Your loving gifts have inspired us to become more giving and respectful of our fellow human beings. As God has shown us, when we help others, we also help ourselves.

In terms of the music, I am extremely grateful for all of your expressions of love and appreciation. I feel encouraged to continue to do my best.

I am also so very thankful for the help and care of my loving and devoted wife, who has worked hard to maintain a decent life for us, despite my medical setbacks and the legal and financial issues we are facing.

Thank you, everyone, for helping us get through this crisis. We will always be grateful to you for your love and caring.

With much love and good wishes,

Kenny Burrell

Update from Kenny and Katherine:

The GoFundMe post described many of the issues facing us, and we would like to specify how your support will help. We will use funds from the campaign to pay for medical expenses related to Kenny's care that aren't covered by insurance. We will also pay credit card bills that have accumulated and become unmanageable. We will use the funds to pay legal bills and put the funds toward any judgment against us, in the event that that occurs. We also will use the funds to stabilize our housing situation, including possible relocation expenses.

Again, we are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. We cannot thank you enough for your life-changing kindness, compassion, and generosity.

5

Kenny was the first jazz guitarist that I seriously listened to. I loved his sound and that natural, blues inflected swing. After almost wearing out a copy of 'God Bless the Child', I accumulated several other recordings and feel a huge sense of gratitude for all the joy that his music gave me back in those early formative years.

As often as I complain about how the Canadian government spends our tax dollars, universal health care is something that I don't mind paying for, and it works very well; it's always been there for us and I can't imagine being without it. It's impossible to know the details of Kenny and his wife's situation, but it looks like medical bills were a large contributing factor. As a full time faculty member at a major university he would make very good money and have medical coverage, but who knows what exactly happened. It illustrates the uncertainty of life for anyone, I guess. I hope the success of the campaign allows them to get straightened around and live out their years without that kind of stress and hardship, after all Kenny has contributed.

6

What an awful situation for anyone to get into, and particularly considering that KB has always been one of my favourite players. Thankfully, through the generosity of others, he seems to have come through it, but it's a frightening thought that this sort of thing can happen to just about anyone.

7

One of my top ten favorites, sorry to hear this. Not getting just why though. I've seen first hand musicians struggle with finances, but Kenny has had it about as good as it gets for a jazzman.

8

One of my top ten favorites, sorry to hear this. Not getting just why though. I've seen first hand musicians struggle with finances, but Kenny has had it about as good as it gets for a jazzman.

– Opie

Apparently, it's several things:

HC plan doesn't cover everything, and those costs build up over time (IDK what's wrong with him)

They had their identity stolen, and are fighting a legal battle over owing that money.

To help pay for the above, they have had to use credit cards, incurring more debt.

While Kenny was very successful as a jazz musician, he wasn't Miles.... you would have to combine Burrell, Montgomery, and a shitload of others- COMBINE them- to come up with the kind of money Miles made. He's a JAZZ musician, not a rock or pop star.

9

That's very sad. You would think that a gentleman of his age would be covered through Medicare/Medicaid. The insurance system in the USA is a money maker for the greedy as is the Pharmaceutical industry. I pay a $195.00 per week premium to cover Karolyn and myself which makes my take home paycheck the same as it was in the eighties. Luckily, Karolyn's employer reimburses us $400.00 a month to offset some of the difference, since they have no coverage at their organization.

GoFundme has been a great thing for many.

EDIT: I did not post my situation for sympathy, just an example of how much Insurance companies are screwing us, as a nation. We've learned to adapt.

10

Apparently, it's several things:

HC plan doesn't cover everything, and those costs build up over time (IDK what's wrong with him)

They had their identity stolen, and are fighting a legal battle over owing that money.

To help pay for the above, they have had to use credit cards, incurring more debt.

While Kenny was very successful as a jazz musician, he wasn't Miles.... you would have to combine Burrell, Montgomery, and a shitload of others- COMBINE them- to come up with the kind of money Miles made. He's a JAZZ musician, not a rock or pop star.

– ruger9

I get that about what he may have made, jazz in particular never paid much, but he was a respected teacher at a major school, surly some sort of pension must have been there.Plus he's way past the age for qualifying for Medicare, assuming he had supplemental insurance. I know all about medical costs, I'm in a huge battle right now for $97,000.00 worth of bills my insurance company is balking over for a three day stay in the hospital back in November,and that one had no surgery involved. The health care system in this country is beyond broken, it's a mash-up of Kafka/Mafia/Mr.Burns. Also had my identity stolen recently, though here in Florida they don't hold me responsible. Thank God.Maybe it was the homeowners group that broke the camels back. Anyway, hope he gets out of debt, the worry alone will kill ya.


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