In 1981 he founded his own Kenny Werner Trio, with drummer Tom Rainet and bass player Ratzo Harris. Together they played both national and international stages for 14 years and recorded four albums. In the mid-'80s he is invited into the Mel Lewis Orchestra (now the Village Vanguard Orchestra). In no time Mel Lewis and Bob Brookmeyer allow him to compose his own pieces and arrange for the big band. It soon becomes his specialty and today he mainly writes for various big bands such as the Cologne Jazz Ochestra, the Danish Jazz Orchestra, the Stockholm Jazz Ochestra, the Metropole Orchestra of Holland, ... He has also recorded two albums with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra.