Kenton, Stan

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Kenton, Stan Gender: M
Stanley Newcomb Kenton
born on 15 December 1911 at 22:00 (= 10:00 PM )
Place Wichita, Kansas, 37n42, 97w20
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: CAH
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 23°05' s_mo.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 03°32 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 24°36'

Portrait of Stan Kenton 
(click to view image source)
Stan Kenton
photo: or Hans Bernhard (Schnobby), license cc-by-sa-3.0


American musician, composer and bandleader whose progressive influence in music made him a controversial figure in jazz for nearly 40 years.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Kenton moved with his family to Huntington Park in Southern California at age five. When his deadbeat Dad eventually left for good, Kenton helped his mother care for his two sisters. At age ten he began taking piano lessons at his mother's urging, but it was not until four years later that he was introduced to jazz by to cousins who were working musicians. "From the time I was 14 years old I was all music. Nothing else entered my mind." Forming a band with three other students in Bell High School, he played for dances and parties.

At age 18, lacking an income and unable to attend college, he played the piano in the speakeasies of San Diego and Las Vegas. Over the following ten years he played with six different orchestras in the Southwest when, in 1940, determined to form his own band with its own style, he spent two months in a rented cabin writing musical arrangements.

The Stan Kenton Orchestra opened months later at the renowned Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa, California, consisting mostly of musicians under age 21. An overnight sensation, crowds of high school and college students packed the ballroom nightly, with radio broadcasts soon bringing fame to individual musicians in the orchestra. Success escalated with an East Coast engagement at the famed Meadowbrook in New Jersey. The orchestra's hits included "Eager Beaver," "Harlem Folk Dance" and "Intermission Riff."

The draft during WW II along with the pressure of wartime travel produced personnel turnovers coupled with prolonged gaps between engagements. Many of the young musicians returned home to California. In 1944, Kenton hired top jazz vocalist Anita O'Day and with the hit song "And Her Tears Rolled Like Wine," the orchestra was named Look Magazine Band of The Year."

In the late '40s, when big bands began their demise, Kenton formed his Progressive Jazz Orchestra followed by the creation of his Innovations Orchestra in 1950. Kenton's drive for continual change led him in the early '60s to build his entire orchestra around the mellophonium and other non-jazz instruments and in 1965, to launching the Neophonic Orchestra, the band in three-year residence at the Los Angeles Music Center. Turning his back on his own early days of packed dance floors and hit singles, critics panned his new sound as flashy and pretentious. "I have a problem with myself," Kenton once told an interviewer, "I'm just not much for the past. When guys come around to talk about the good old days, I'm not much interested. I'm more concerned with what's happening next." In his later years, Kenton held week-long jazz clinics at Redlands University and Orange Coast College.

Kenton's youthful marriage to a woman named Violet ended in divorce. They had a daughter Leslie. His second marriage, to Ann Richards, singer with the band for six years, produced a daughter Dana and a son Lance. He later made third marriage to Jo Ann.

He died of a stroke on 25 August 1979 at 4:45 PM in Hollywood, California.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Candoli, Pete (born 28 June 1923). Notes: Member of Stan Kenton's Band, 1954-1956
  • associate relationship with Coker, Jerry (born 28 November 1932). Notes: Music collaborators
  • associate relationship with Pepper, Art (born 1 September 1925). Notes: Music collaborators
  • associate relationship with Sims, Zoot (born 29 October 1925). Notes: Music collaborators


  • Work : Begin Major Project 1940 (Spent two months writing arrangements for own band)
  • Work : Contracts, agreements 1944 (Hired top jazz vocalist Anita O'Day)
  • Social : Joined group 1950 (Created and joined the Innovations Orchestra)
  • Social : Joined group 1965 at 12:00 midnight in Los Angeles, CA (Created and joined the Neophonic Orchestra)
  • Death by Disease 25 August 1979 at 04:45 AM in Hollywood, CA (Stroke, age 67)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Contemporary American Horoscopes


  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Stroke (Fatal)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Alcohol
  • Family : Childhood : Disadvantaged (Deadbeat dad left family)
  • Family : Childhood : Family large (Five kids)
  • Family : Childhood : Parent, Single or Step (Dad gone)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Two)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Three)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Work in team/ Tandem (Stan Kenton Orchestra, high school band, others)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (Jazz clinics at universities)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Composer/ Arranger
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Conductor (Band leader)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Group/ Duo (Stan Kenton Orchestra)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Piano)
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Look Magazine Band of the Year)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession