KEN WEAVER: Guitarist
Ken Weaver is a gifted, melodic guitarist who began playing guitar as a child in his home town of Wilmington, Ohio. As a young, self-taught guitarist, Ken enjoyed and was keenly interested in learning to play all styles and genres of music. As his style evolved, he discovered that his main passion was for contemporary smooth or fusion jazz. Ken learned by listening and and playing along with guitarists that influenced and inspired him through the years. In the 1960s he was learning from Eric Clapton, Steve Cropper, BB King, in the 70's and 80s it was Jimmy Hendrix, Earl Klugh, Wes Montgomery, and Kenny Burrell. In the 90's and beyond he admired Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Robben Ford, Russell Malone, George Benson, and Buddy Guy.
During his formative years Ken performed primarily around his home towns of Wilmington, Xenia, Wilberforce, Dayton, and Cincinnati, Ohio playing music spanning from down home blues to bebop jazz with different musical groups and a diverse group of vocalists. While serving in the Air Force from 1966 to 1970, Ken was one of several musicians selected to travel on a USO Tour of the Far East as the guitar player for vocalists, O.C. Smith, Nina Simone, and Billy Eckstein as they traveled throughout Japan and Korea.
After graduating from Wilmington College in 1973 with a Bachelor's in Education, Ken moved to Columbus, Ohio The first musical group he hooked-up with in Columbus was organist, Alvin Valentine. Valentine's group included Bobby Alston (trumpet), Gene Walker (sax), and Joe Ong (drums) and Ken on guitar. During that time, many national artists would come to town, sit-in with the group as they played weekly at popular clubs known as Club Faces, Needles Eye, The Jazz Living Room, and Stardust Lounge.
Ken's been fortunate to perform with many other fine Central Ohio musicians and musical groups including the late Grover Washington, Rusty Bryant, Jimmy Carter, L.G. Scott, Wilbert Longmire, Jeanette Williams, Mary McClendon, Johnnie Lytle, Joe Hunter, Tony Monaco, Jimmy Foster, Bobby Floyd, Urban Jazz Coalition, Dave Powers, Roger Baccus, Phil Raney, Sabina Tutstone, Bob Mills, Andrew Waters, Adria Shahid, and the Gene Walker's Generations.
Those were great learning and playing experiences that Ken enjoyed and that made him into a more tasteful, well-rounded, skilled guitarist before starting his own group--The Ken Weaver Trio, with Neal Cobb on drums and Otis Davenport on keyboards and piano. Ken's trio has played throughout central Ohio at venues such as, The Clock, Courthouse Square, Brownstone, and The Old Mohawk, all in downtown Columbus, Ohio and, Olivia's (New Albany), Fisherman's Wharf (Upper Arlington), and Lindey's (German Village) to name just a few. Then in 1996, Ken collaborated with the very talented bassist Dwight Bailey and the trio became the Ken Weaver Quartet. As such, they have been seen and heard at the Jazz & Rib Festival, Creekside Jazz & Blues Festival, the Wooster Arts & Jazz Festival, King Arts Heritage Concert Series, Pickerington Jazz & Rib Festival, Dayton Art Museum Artist Series, Chocolate Nut Cracker Production (Veterans Memorial) and at corporate and non-profit events, private parties, and at numerous clubs and restaurants throughout Ohio and the Mid-West.