Kenneth Salters

Kenneth Salters

Adjunct Lecturer of Music
Music and Art



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Drummer, composer and bandleader Kenneth Salters presents his debut album as a leader, Enter to Exit (Destiny Records). Salters has become a fixture on Manhattan’s West Village independent jazz scene and around the world as an in-demand sideman. His band is comprised of a coterie of musicians with whom Salters has surrounded himself for the better part of a decade, performing a set of originals and two emotionally significant covers that serve as a memoir to Salters’ time in New York City.

Born in New Haven, CT, and raised in Columbia, SC, Salters began his musical career on trombone before pursuing his studies as a percussion major at the University of South Carolina. Since moving to New York in 2006, he has worked with luminaries in jazz and R&B including Don Byron, Chris Potter, and Aretha Franklin.

Salters’ birthplace is part of the double meaning behind the band’s name–Haven. Salters explains that one goal with the band is to serve as the audience’s safe haven for music. The band includes one of Salters’ mentors, Myron Walden, on saxophone, joined by Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition finalist Tivon Pennicott and rising star trumpeter Matt Holman in the front line. Salters’ rhythm section compatriots include guitarist Aki Ishiguro, pianist (and Destiny Records labelmate) Brad Whiteley, and Spencer Murphy on bass. The group is complemented by special guest pianist Shai Maestro on “Deception” and harpist Bridget Kibbey on four pieces.



University of South Carolina
BA, Music, Percussion Performance

Courses Taught

Research and Projects


Honors, Awards and Affiliations

Kenneth resides in New York City, playing various genres of music. He has played with such artist as Aretha Franklin, Bert Ligon, Chris Potter, Heather Bennett, Phil Palombi, Ada Rovatti, Sean Higgins, Mike Holstein, Karel Ruzicka, Brad Whiteley, Jeff Lofton, Wycliffe Gordon, Fred Wesley, Skip Pearson, Steve Houghton, Gordon “Dick” Goodwin, Ron Westray, Russ Johnson, John Valerio, Donald Brown, Philip Whack, Bryson Borgstedt, Matt Olson, Brian Mulholland, Robbie Anderson, Lee Barbour, Les Hall, and Andy Akiho.

Additional Information