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 straight-ahead and contemporary smooth or fusion jazz as well as the blues.  Since he plays by ear, 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, Kenny Burrell.  In the 90's and beyond he learned from Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Robben Ford, Russell Malone,  George Benson, and Buddy Guy.
During his formative years Ken performed primarily around 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

One of the most memorable experiences Ken had during that time was performing with the late Hank Marr at the Kahiki restaurant and the Playboy Club in Columbus. The experiences and lessons gained during those years with mentors and tutors like Hank Marr, Alvin Valentine, and Jimmy Foster were invaluable to Ken ,since they gave him tremendous knowledge and helped him honed his skills in the nuances of playing jazz-it was more important to, not just play a bunch of scales but, to "groove with a feel"--this cannot be learned in the classroom.
That gig was followed with a two year engagement at the Kahiki restaurant with the renown organist, Hank Marr.  The venues for playing jazz and blues were plentiful in Columbus, Ohio at the time. For the next three years,  Ken became the lead guitarist for the blues-based Willie Pooch Band which traveled throughout Ohio playing Chicago style blues in local clubs, bars, festivals and corporate events.

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 thoughtful, 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.
Ken Weaver has recorded on his own as well as with other musicians in Columbus, Ohio. With other artists he has done studio work at Amerisound Studio (with the jazz group 30 East); John Schwab Studio (with local artist Michael Branner); and at the Columbus Music Hall (with the Keith Newton Quintet). On his own, Ken has recorded two CDs with the Ken Weaver Quartet and live video recordings are accessible on You Tube &  other websites such as that of the, Wooster Arts and Jazz Fest, Columbus State "Taste of the Future", Roger Baccus & James (Smooth) Elliot at Zanzibar and Heritage Concert Series at the King Arts Complex.  In addition to playing guitar, Ken Weaver also enjoys traveling throughout the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe as well as cooking for friends and family.
Your selection of tunes and the subsequent musical arrangements provided the "WOW" factor I was looking for in this event....Thanks once again for a job well done! ”

Robert E. Dalton Jr. Owner/President of Delightful Delights Concessions L.L.C.

As always, your professional service and the awesome talents of your quartet were greatly appreciated. You and your quartet did a superb job! ”

Karen L. Deberry, Executive Director, Project Linden, Inc.

NEAL COBB: Drummer

Neal Cobb is a Columbus native, who could be seen on a drum set at the early age of two.  In the third grade he discovered his love for the drum.  In the upcoming years he could be seen performing in schools and city wide talent shows.

In his high school years, he found his true calling for the sticks. He would perform with his high school marching band at half-time, only to leave immediately following the half-time show to perform in local venues at the age 15.  He played professionally with a local band in the early 70"s,The Rhythem Masters featuring Donna Bates.

In the late 70's through the early 90's, he played with some of Central Ohio's finest musicians and musical groups--The Wallace Brothers, Grand Finale Ban, The Franchise featuring Kenny Latham, The Four Mints, Conspiracy, Controversy, Shades of Grey, Franky Jaye, "formerly of the Barkays", Craig McMullin, formerly of Curtis Mayfield, Arnett Howard, and Willie Pooch. Neal has also appeared in a local commercial for the Ohio Lottery, and on several local TV shows, such as Bob Braun 50/50 Club, and PM Magazine Show!
Neal has recorded with Bill Moss, for the singing group, Kool Blues with Capsoul Records, Stage Corporation, & for the group "Sun" from Dayton, Ohio.  He's backed-up local and national artists such as Ronnie Taylor, Billy Valentine, "featured artist on the Five Heartbeat Soundtrack", Mary Wells "formerly of the Supremes", and national artist, Chuck Jackson. He's performed on stage with national gospel artist, The Clark Sisters, and Sherly Murdock.  Mr. Cobb has played with many local church choirs and has performed for the Local Gospel Guitar Summit and for the Gospel Jazz and Dinner with Pastor Mark Hampton

Neal gradually moved on to play in the local jazz scene with notable artists such as Bobbie Shaw, Alvin Valentine, Bobby Austen, Gene Walker, Bobby Floyd, Mary McClendon, Jeannette Williams, Dave Powers and Carl Sally. Neal Cobb is a drummer well versed not only in jazz but also in blues, funk, Fr & B, bossa nova, and popular music.  Ken says, "I love that solid, deep pocket rhythm Neal provides to the group and I've thoroughly enjoyed  playing with Neal since 1992".

Otis Davenport: Keyboardist & Pianist

Otis Davenport began his formal piano training at the Columbus, Ohio Fort Hayes High School.  He continued his schooling by learning hands-on from some outstanding local musicians and teachers such as, Hank Marr, Jeff Tyus, Bob Pierce, Lucy Carnes, Jim Russell, and Dave Wheeler.  Otis is a very talented piano/keyboardist gifted in playing all genres of music. He plays throughout Central Ohio with various jazz ensembles and accompanying solo vocalists.
Otis Davenport on keyboard/piano provides the walking bass and chords to the trio and allows us to blend as beautifully as we do harmoniously It's been a beautiful experience performing with Otis Davenport over the years---we've learned from each other, grown with each other and it shows with the sound we produce.

Dwight Bailey: Bassist

Playing with Ken Weaver @ Columbus Jazz & Rib Festival, OH

Dwight Bailey is an accomplished bass player from Detroit and a child phenomenon who began playing drums at the age of six. By the age of 14, when his parents moved to Columbus, Ohio, he fell in love with the electric bass and has been playing it ever since.  His primary inspiration came from the gospel music he grew up, and consequently, the local gospel and choir groups he performed with. 

During his college years at the Ohio State University, he was exposed to many outstanding jazz artists in the music degree program who inspired him to learn more about jazz & honed his skills as a bassist.  Thus, began his study of the double bass and playing in jazz trios and groups with OSU fellow classmates,James Gaiters and Edwin Bayard.

Dwight's mentors over the years include Dr. Milton Ruffin, Dr. Paul Robinson, Keven Turner, Kenny Banks, Elgee Scott, Bobby Floyd, Billy Brown, Eddie Brookshire, Cornell Wiley, Victor Wooten, and Dr. John. He has traveled extensively throughout the world performing with Dr. John and with the Sarah Morrow Quintet.