Knoel's career as a jazz musician was launched by Warren Smith in his Composers Workshop Ensemble. Then came a crucial encounter, with an icon of cutting-edge jazz: Sun Ra. Trombonist/composer Craig Harris alerted Sun Ra of Knoel, who quickly began touring and recording with the Sun Ra Arkestra. In 1982, Knoel began a residency which made his name in Harlem. This led to another historic meeting: early one morning, bebop drummer Khalil took the young Knoel Scott to a house on 77th Street: the house of Miles Davis. In an impromptu consultation, Miles encouraged straight tone and setting aside the mannerisms of Charlie Parker.Others he worked with over the following ten years included Olu Dara, Bobby Forrester, Larry '88 keys' Keyes, Andy Razaf, Jimmy 'Preacher' Robbins; keyboardists Charles Earland, Victor Davis, Jimmy Watson and Donald Smith; trumpeters Tommy Turrentine, Jerry Gonzales, Bucky Thorpe; drummers Panama Wallace, Greg Bandy and Buddy Mack; singers Rochelle Thompson, Jann Parker and Leon Thomas. In 1988 Sun Ra invited Knoel back to the Arkestra, to fill a reed-section chair, temporarily vacant during Marshall Allen's absence. Knoel retains that chair to this present day - usually playing alto sax but occasionally tenor or his native baritone. Sun Ra also encouraged Knoel to dance and sing, and his Ra-inspired versatility and agility continues to enthrall audiences.
Knoel currently works both sides of the Atlantic, frequent Sun Ra Arkestra tours alternating with intensive work on his own Knoel Scott Quartet ("KSQ") to which he has attracted the enthusiastic participation of top-rate young musicians including the British piano prodigy Charlie Stacey. The KSQ has become known as a 'must see' amongst the live audiences of London.