Kenny Burrell

Jazz Legend Kenny Burrell Facing Potential Homelessness

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(CelebrityAccess) — A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign has been launched in the name of the legendary jazz guitarist and educator Kenny Burrell in the wake of a debilitating accident.

According to Burrell’s wife Katherine, Burrell suffered an accident following a concert at Royce Hall to mark his 85th birthday. The accident left the Burrells burdened with medical expenses that exceed their monthly income.

According to Katherine, the situation was compounded when the couple was victimized by criminals, who stole a substantial chunk of their savings

“We were both victims of identity theft and bank fraud, and the bank has refused to return a majority of the stolen funds, which totaled more than $60,000. (Some of the funds they returned were actually payments I made to creditors, which they returned in error, and which I had to repay). In the process of mismanaging our claim, the bank returned payments I made to creditors as far back as 9 months, seriously impacting our credit scores,” Katherine wrote on the crowdfunding campaign’s website.

If that wasn’t enough tsuris, the Burrells are also locked into litigation with their homeowner’s association and are “facing possible foreclosure and homelessness if the HOA wins a judgment against us.”

Kenny Burrell is a widely influential guitarist has performed with a who’s who of music legends, including Etta James, Quincy Jones, Lena Horn, Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gilespie, Stan Getz, and Tony Bennett among numerous others. His songwriting credits include the Grammy-winning album Dear Ella by Dee Dee Bridgewater and he was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2005.

In a statement provided to the Jazz Foundation, who has also been assisting the Burrells, Katherine wrote:

“Thank you to everyone at the Jazz Foundation and those who have responded with loving thoughts, prayers, and generosity. Kenny and I are overwhelmed by the compassion, support, and love of both friends and people whom we do not know, but revere his music. Even simple acts of caring and prayer are deeply appreciated during this difficult time, but the generosity in others’ hearts is far beyond anything we could have imagined. The outpouring of love and support, as well as the words of admiration and respect he has received through the campaign have tremendously lifted his spirit and touched his heart. It is my greatest joy to see his expressions, including tears, as he realizes he is respected, cherished, and loved beyond his comprehension. It is a deeply moving and humbling experience, challenging though it may be to expose ourselves and ask for help. Our deepest and heartfelt gratitude for your support, love, and light.”

If you are interested in learning more or donating to help the Burrells, the GoFundMe page is here.


Here’s a video of Burrell performing at Guitar Magazine’s All Star Guitar Night in 2015.

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