“The amazing Kenna & Cox: he with the voice and soul to raise the dead, she with the melody to make them glad to be alive...”
— Matt Tonks, Synaesthesia
Chris Kenna – vocals, acoustic guitar
Melissa Cox – violin, vocals, piano
Kenna & Cox is an Australian folk-blues duo, based in Paris.
Chris Kenna is a walking pocket of Australia in the midst of Paris. His voice, described as “hors du common” (extraordinary), conjures images of red earth and ragged mountain ranges. Since living in Paris, Chris has been the opening act for Jeff Beck at the Olympia, Peter Green at La Cigale, and Zucherro at the Zenith, among others.
A chance encounter in a Paris bar in 2008 launched a collaboration with violinist and fellow Australian, Melissa Cox. She had previously fronted her own jazz trio and electro-pop group (Black Sesame) and since living in Paris has accompanied a host of singer-songwriters, including Elliott Murphy, Inga Liljeström and Melanie Horsnell.
Together, Kenna & Cox perform regularly at festivals in Europe, either as a duo or accompanied by their compatriot, bassist Gerard McFadden. Their first studio album “Long way home” was released in May 2016, and two others are scheduled for release in 2020.
A story of “opposites attract”:
- Cox comes from Sydney, the biggest city in Australia, while Kenna grew up in the “bush”, in a tiny village with fewer than 100 people.
- In Australia, Kenna was passionate about rock, while Cox studied classical and jazz music.
- Kenna ended up in Paris pretty much by accident, and sometimes finds it hard to believe that he’s still here after all this time; while Cox was determined to live in France since she was a child.
- The two met in 2008 at a jam session in a small Paris bar; they played together until the sun came up, and haven’t stopped since.
“It seems that the sandstorms of the Australian outback have left an indelible mark on Chris Kenna's vocal cords. The result is a beautiful, rough, dark and soulful voice, ably counterbalanced by Melissa Cox's violin. The combination of the two is captivating.”
— The Next Gig (Dutch music magazine)