up in southern Ohio, Kerry Kean was influenced by the music
of the day, from Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan to the Beatles,
the Stones and Led Zeppelin. The guitar was the sound, and from
the moment his dad brought home an old Harmony arch-top, he
was hooked, spending endless hours and wearing out countless
records learning songs and riffs. This fascination with music
also led Kerry to study piano technology, open a piano
service and rebuilding business and eventually come to Kent
Ohio where he served as Kent State University's resident piano
technician for 16 years.
out with rock and roll, Kerry soon taught himself to play many
other styles as well. Over the years, he has performed in various
groups including folk trios, dance and show-bands, and jazz
ensembles. For most of a year, he toured the country with the
Parker Brothers, a national show group. At the same time, he
has maintained a strong interest in acoustic finger-style and
flatpicked guitar. Kerry gradually gathered a repertoire of
blues, ragtime, and folk tunes, as well as writing his own songs,
and in recent years this music has become a primary focus. While
living in southern Ohio, He began performing as a solo act,
and has shared a stage with artists like John Fahey, John Hartford,
Nanci Griffith and others. In 1995 Kerry released "Guitarism",
a solo fingerstyle album which contains eight originals and
two cover tunes and covers a wide range of musical territory.
"Deer Tracks" from this album was selected for a Folknet
compilation CD and is still in rotation on area radio stations.
playing for several years in support of this album, Kerry took
a break to finish a business degree and graduated Summa Cum
Laude in 2000 from Kent State as class Valedictorian. While
at Kent, he also studied jazz and played in the school's big
band and several small combos. After graduation, he launched
an exciting new career in as a software engineer shortly before
"off-shoring" became a household word. Disillusioned
with corporate America, Kerry decided to take advantage of his
company's downsizing (best viewed as another life experience
from which to mine songs, he says), to launch a "portfolio"
career. Also described as being "multiply self-employed",
this includes computer consulting, web design, piano tuning
and repair, guitar teaching, and, of course, performing. Kerry
is also the coordinator for the workshops at the annual Kent
State Folk Festival.
is gigging regularly again, and currently performs both as a
solo and with small swing and bluegrass groups. He sings as
well, and his shows are a blend of instrumental and vocal numbers.
In 2010 he released his third album consisting of both instrumental
and vocal songs, and is working on another which is planned
for release in late 2011.