Master Sergeant Sam Kennedy is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He earned his Bachelors in Music from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he studied with the great bassist, Cleveland Eaton, who was the last bassist to perform with Count Basie and his famous Orchestra (1980-1994). After earning his Bachelors, Sergeant Kennedy moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey, and attended Rutgers University, where he earned his Masters of Music in May 2001. Then, Sergeant Kennedy performed as a professional bassist in New York City, and Nashville, Tennessee where he performed with some of the world's most exceptional jazz and country musicians, including Brad Leali, Derreck Gardner, Russel Malone, Buddy Spicher, the Gypsy Hombres, and many more. In addition to performing music, Sergeant Kennedy taught electric and upright bass performance at Middle Tennessee State University. In April 2002, he joined the United States Air Force Band and has enjoyed his 19 year career immensely. When he is not performing, Sergeant Kennedy spends his time at home with his family, and is an avid cyclist. In 2015 he won the U.S. Forces in Europe, Mountain Bike Championship Series, and has been a member of the Air Force Cycling Team in 2017, 2018, and 2021.
Bachelor of Music, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1998
Master of Musical Arts, Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, 2001
Airman Leadership School, Kapaun Air Base, Germany, 2006
Kisling Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, Kapaun Air Base, Germany, 2015
April 2002-May 2002, student , Basic Military Training, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
Air Force Reserve Command Band, June 2002-December 2005.
USAFE Band, January 2006-April 2010.
US Air Force Air Combat Command Band, May 2010-June 2012.
USAFE Band July 2012-July 2016.
USAF Band of the Golden West, Travis Air Force Base August 2016 to present.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with three Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Good Conduct Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman First Class: 09 April 2002
Senior Airman: 09 Feb 2004
Staff Sergeant: 01 March 2006
Technical Sergeant: 01 September 2013
Master Sergeant: 01 November 2018