A California native, Ken’s earliest memory of music was sitting under his mother’s piano as a four year old while she taught various neighbors and family members. Curiosity and exploration led to formal lessons and much time spent figuring out the theory, structures and rhythms behind the music he enjoyed. He continued playing throughout his teens in various garage bands and for family events and quickly absorbed the eclectic 70s sounds permeating the California airwaves that included a mix of Soul, R&B, Folk, Progressive Rock and Jazz.
After finishing a B.A. in Economics in the mid 80s and longing to find deeper musical connections, Ken made his way from the San Francisco Bay Area to Boston to further his Jazz studies at the Berklee College of Music under a Chick Corea scholarship. He spent several years studying with the legendary Jazz instructors Charlie Banacos and Jerry Bergonzi followed by the completion of a Masters in Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA. Afterwards he embarked upon an eclectic and varied career that included a lot of time performing in Jazz and Blues clubs, wedding halls, outdoor festivals, and many basement session and recording studios. He traveled throughout New England and the Eastern seaboard playing music with nationally recognized Blues belter Michelle Willson and the Evil Gal Orchestra and toured Brazil, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the Caribbean with New Orleans Jazz and Blues icon Johnny Adams. He recalls a turning point in his vision of music while studying the works of Ives, Coltrane and Chopin by day and out playing the music of Louis Jordan, Monk and Jimmy Smith at night, “I made that profound connection that I new others had made and discussed intellectually but only rendered in that moment when the threads of all of the great western music began to permeate my own performances. I’d deploy a little Ives cluster at the end of a 12 Bar Blues while playing at the House of Blues in Cambridge or I’d animate a little Chopin as an intro to a Jazz Ballad playing at the Oak Bar in Boston with a Quartet.” Those explorations in Jazz, Blues, R&B, Latin and Brazilian, Funk, Pop, and Rock music and discovering the threads that are sewn among them continues unabated.
A 2006 trip to Havana Cuba to study at La ENA conservatory expanded his deep interest and affinity in his study and performance of Afro Cuban music. That experience included witnessing some of the best contemporary and traditional Cuban performers. His impressions of seeing live performances of Los Van Van, Isaac Delgado, Pupy y Los Que Son Son, Orquesta Aragon and members of the Buena Vista Social Club are indelibly etched in his musical psyche.
A return to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007 led to new adventures, projects. His latest projects include his Trio and his work with Soul Singer Chris Saunders.
He has shared the stage or recording studio with Terrie Odabi, Mark Summer (Turtle Island Quartet), Johnny Adams, Ricardo Peixoto, John Calloway, Bria Skonberg, Ricky Fataar, James Montgomery, actor/singer Jim Belushi, Deborah Winters, Curt Moore, Dmitri Matheny, Jimmy Giuffre, Carla Helmbrecht, Luciana Souza, Duke Robillard, Tanya Donelly, Michelle Willson, Vinx, George Russell, The Holmes Brothers, Claudio Ragazzi, David LaFlamme, The Part Time Lovers, Van Walls, Bob Moses, Alex Alvear, Benny Sharoni, Aquiles Baez, John Ramsay, Bruce Gertz, John Lockwood, Ana Norgaard, Ted Casher, Bob Gullotti, Gifrants, Mike Duke, Vince Lateano, Chris Amberger, Al Molina, Akira Tana, Art Lewis, Cliff Hugo, Kendrick Freeman, Rob Roth, Michael Aragon, George Marsh, Jeff Oster, James Moseley, Shea Breaux Wells. He has performed throughout the US, Brazil, Mexico and Europe. He is currently available for tours, recording, film scoring projects, clinics, private instruction and group clinics.
Ken has studied with Jerry Bergonzi, Michael Marra, Charlie Banacos, George Russell, Bob Moses, Bevan Manson, Cecil McBee, John Lockwood, Donald Berman and Raymond Herbert.