Jason Kendall’s story gives credence to the “everything happens for a reason” philosophy. A ten year old boy in the backyard, helping his dad on a household project…A circular saw slips, severing three fingers of the boy’s right hand, and a serious injury that could have been devastating becomes a transforming moment in his life.
Watching those same fingers fly on piano, guitar and sax, no one would ever guess that Kendall’s love affair with music was born of that dramatic and painful accident. Years of arduous lessons became the therapeutic vehicle for rehabilitating his reattached fingers, starting with the saxophone, and moving on to master both piano and guitar.
And now the accomplished student, has, in fact, become the teacher. After earning both his Undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Music Education from West Virginia University, Kendall now teaches music history for several colleges and universities.
Kendall didn’t confine his love of music solely to the classroom. In 1998, he founded “Déjà vu,” a popular band that performed on WDVE’s “Coffee House” and 105.9’s the ”X –files,” were finalists in the 2000 Graffiti Rock Challenge, and opened for national acts like Cheap Trick, 38 Special, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Steppenwolf and the Clarks.
In 2000, he formed his own company, Jason Kendall Productions, providing a comprehensive array of music options for weddings, corporate events and private parties. He has performed at many high profile venues including the Hard Rock Café, Club Café, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Lakeview Resort, and the Summit Inn.
Citing influences as diverse as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Chet Baker and Billie Holiday, Kendall is entirely comfortable performing all kinds of music, including classical composers such as Bach, Mozart and Philip Glass. He wrote his first song at age seventeen and estimates he has written about 200 songs so far. Despite that impressive body of work, throughout the fifteen years he has been performing professionally, he has always played other people’s music. He has an amazing set list of covers from four decades, and while he still performs with a cover band called “The Bitter End,” last year he decided it was time to let his own songs be heard.
“Cooper Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” is his debut release.
~ First paying gig – age 14, a high school prom. ~ Met Bob Dylan at Station Square in 1991. ~ Spends much of his summer playing jazz at the beach resorts of Hilton Head, South Carolina. ~ Had his music featured during May 2008 on WYEP-FM. ~ Performed on the Main Stage of the 2008 Three Rivers Arts Festival.