“Blues Suite” felt enjoyable in an uncomplicated, theatrical way not least because of the onstage presence of the wonderful musicians Kenny Brawner and the Brawner Brothers, playing the accompanying songs, credited simply as “traditional.”

Before the curtain even rises, the sound of Mr. Brawner singing is the stuff of an immediate good mood.

Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times –

Ending with Mr. Ailey’s “Revelations” is not a matter of choice. Mr. Battle gave us the expanded version, with a cast of 50 and live music. The singers, particularly Ella Mitchell and Kenny Brawner, are a great improvement over the usual dated recording,

Brian Seibert, The New York Times –

Mr. Battle is a skilled choreographer, and “In/Side” is a worthy addition to the Ailey repertoire. But it also feels very much an Ailey company piece in its slightly exhibitionistic exaltation of the dancer, and its emotive audience appeal. These elements were all present to different degrees in the other works on the program: Alvin Ailey’s 1958 “Blues Suite” (with the magnificent live playing and singing of Kenny Brawner and the Brawner Brothers), “Revelations” from 1960 and George Faison’s 1971 “Suite Otis,” to the music of Otis Redding).

Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times-

Much has been made of the presence of these musicians, mostly because they are so good, functioning like a Greek chorus should. Laiona Michelle (Clementine) and Kenny Brawner (Chorus) were made to perform together. This show would be worth seeing just for their musical performance

Ashley Webb, Stark

Kenny Brawner serves as a kind of everyman observer, playing some fine loose-fingered jazz piano while singing low-down blues. He comes across as an authentic emissary from the jazz-club tradition, and one often wishes to be hearing an entire evening of his music…

Sandy Macdonald, Theater Mania

Note that tunes in the hands of singing, piano playing, masterful performer Kenny
Brawner often steal the show.

Martha Wade, Urban Excavations –

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