A native of Winona, Minnesota, Kennedy began his musical studies at the piano in elementary school. After winning a statewide composition contest in fifth grade, he discovered an interest in percussion and eventually graduated With Honors from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Music Education.
While attending the University of Minnesota, Kennedy won a national audition for the drum chair with the Disney All-American College Band, a select group of musicians from colleges and universities across the United States. Through this experience he lived in Southern California for three months and performed regularly at Disneyland in Anaheim, recorded at Capitol Records in Hollywood, and performed with multiple studio and jazz musicians including Rick Baptist, Shelly Berg, Wayne Bergeron, Bob Florence, Alex Iles, Sal Lozano, Andy Martin, and Jiggs Whigham.
In the Twin Cities, Kennedy is involved with multiple projects as both a composer and performer including the jazz quintet, Snowblind, the Jack Brass Band, and the jazz/hip hop collective, Big Villain co-produced by Grammy winning hip-hop composer and saxophonist Andrew Balogh (Drake, 50 Cent, Jay-Z) and Emmy Award winning, Grammy nominated engineer, Reid Kruger.
Kennedy has enjoyed professional collaborations with Ernestine Anderson, Katisse Buckingham, Taylor Eigsti, Mark Gross, Judith Hill, Richard Johnson, Joe Lovano, Delfeayo Marsalis, Gunther Schuller, Walter Smith III, and others. He has also had the privilege to study with Bernie Dresel, Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton, Phil Hey, Steve Houghton, Rich MacDonald, and Dave Weckl.