"Nigel Kennedy (born 1956) is an English violinist and violist. He made his early career in the classical field, and later included jazz, klezmer and other genres in his repertoire.
At the age of 16, Kennedy was invited by Stéphane Grappelli to appear with him at New York's Carnegie Hall, under the threat from his teachers at the Juilliard that it would ruin his classical career. He made his recording debut in 1984 with Elgar's Violin Concerto. Kennedy's recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with the English Chamber Orchestra in 1989 sold over 2 million copies and earned a place as one of the best-selling classical works ever.
He then took the controversial and highly publicised decision to withdraw completely from public performance, at which point he made the album Music In Color with Stephen Duffy. He made a triumphant return to the international concert platform to critical acclaim five years later.
In 1999 Sony Classical released The Kennedy Experience, which featured improvisational recordings of Jimi Hendrix compositions. In 2000, he has recorded Riders on the Storm: The Doors Concerto (with Jaz Coleman), a violin based orchestral version of many Doors songs And, on the 27th of November, Kennedy joined rock group The Who at the Royal Albert Hall to play the violin solo on the song "Baba O'Riley".
He has been exploring Klezmer music with the Polish jazz band Kroke. In late 2005, Kennedy went to New York to record his first album for the jazz label Blue Note Records. Other musicians on the album were Ron Carter on double bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums; and saxophonist Joe Lovano. Kennedy has since stated that 'from now on, at least 50 per cent of my endeavour is going to be in the jazz field'."