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Master Sergeant Sam Kennedy

Master Sergeant Samuel Kennedy is a string bass and electric bass player with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West, Travis AFB, CA.  Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, his Air Force career began in 2001 with the Air Force Reserve Command Band at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

MSgt Kennedy is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where he earned his Bachelor’s in Music Technology in 1998.  At UAB, he studied with Cleveland Eaton, who played bass with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra and the Ramsey Lewis Trio.  Additionally, he earned his Master of Arts degree in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University in 2001.  At Rutgers he studied with Mike Richmond, who played bass with Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, and many more.  Some of MSgt Kennedy’s notable performances before joining the Air Force include: Derreck Gardner, Brad Leali, and Buddy Spicher and the Nashville Swing Association.

During his career, Master Sergeant Kennedy has performed notably for President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, the Oakland Raiders, the San Fransisco 49’ers, the Sacramento Kings, and many more.  Additionally, he performed for civilians and partner military members in 39 countries in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.  He deployed three times to the Middle East in support of the Air Force Central Command, and performed for troops stationed in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan,
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

1998 – Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
2001 – Master of Arts in Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
2002 – Honor Graduate, Basic Military Training, Lackland AFB, TX
2006 – Airman Leadership School, Kapaun Air Station, Germany
2014 – Associates Degree in Fine Arts, Community College of the Air Force
2015 – Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, Kapaun Air Station, Germany

May 2002 – December 2005, Air Force Reserve Command Band, Robins AFB, GA
January 2006 – April 2010, US Air Forces in Europe Band, Sembach AFB, Germany
May 2010 – June 2012, USAF Heritage of America Band, Langley AFB, VA
July 2012 – July 2016, US Air Forces in Europe Band, Ramstein AFB, Germany
August 2016 – Present, USAF Band of the Golden West, Travis AFB, CA

Distinguished Graduate Award Kapaun Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, 2015
Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Air and Space Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters
Air and Space Achievement Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air and Space Overseas Service Ribbon Long with one Oak Leaf Cluster

Airman First Class 9 April 2002
Senior Airman 9 February 2004
Staff Sergeant 1 March 2006
Technical Sergeant 1 September 2013
Master Sergeant 1 November 2018