Kenneth David “Kenny” Kirkland (September 28, 1955 – November 12, 1998) was an American pianist/keyboardist.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1955, Kirkland was six when he first sat down at a piano keyboard. After years of Catholic schooling, Kirkland enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied classical piano performance, classical theory and composition.
Kirkland’s first professional work came with Polish fusion violinist Michal Urbaniak, touring throughout Europe with his group in 1977. Coincidentally, his next high-profile gig was with another Eastern European jazz émigré, Miroslav Vitous. Kirkland is featured on Vitous’ ECM recordings First Meeting and Miroslav Vitous Group.