Ken Whiteley has been dubbed the "Godfather of children's music" for his influential role in children's music. He has been performing since 1965 and making music with children for over 25 years. Accomplished on over a dozen instruments, his musical styles range through folk, blues, gospel, jazz, Caribbean, country, original songs and much more. Few people share Ken's credibility in both the children and adult musical fields. He has appeared on over a hundred recordings and produced work by children's musical icons Raffi, Cathy Fink, Tom Paxton, Fred Penner, Al Simmons, and Sharon, Lois & Bram. He has produced more than 100 albums, with sales in excess of 8 million copies, many garnered with Parent's Choice and Children's Music Web awards. Recordings produced by Ken have received a whopping total of 20 Juno nominations, 2 Juno winners and 2 Grammy nominations.
Ken's family-based performances always involve children participation with many instruments and musical styles in a fun but not frenetic way. Experienced with all ages, Ken has performed in hundreds of family concerts, festivals, schools and libraries over the last twenty plus years, across North America. Click Educational Programs for Ken's Mariposa In The Schools and Blues In The Schools approved programs. As one teacher recently put it, "I would rate the performance a ten out of ten!"
Ken Whiteley's Newest Award Winning Children's Album!
* Parent's Choice Award * Children’s Music Web Award for the Best Recording for Yonger Children * Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Children's Album * Juno nomination for Children's Album of the Year *
With a different instrument featured on each song, "Join the Band" is a musical tour de force by award winning musician, Ken Whiteley. With 19 songs, most of them original, this master roots musician is at his eclectic best. Click for track listing.
The musical journey starts with the soca strains of the title overture. From there we explore a cappella singing, gypsy jazz, jump blues, celtic harp, old time banjo, zydeco, several different world musics, rock trombone and a mandolin extravaganza that mixes the music of Vivaldi, Cape Breton and south side Chicago.
Joining Ken Whiteley is an impressive list of 31 musicians and singers. They include George Koller and Dennis Pendrith on basses, Bucky Berger on drums, a horn section led by Sarah McElcheran, Lord of the Rings fiddler Anne Lindsay, singers David Wall, Amoy & Ciceal Levy and Pat Patrick, plus children from the Alan Howard Waldorf School and the Oakwood Collegiate Chamber Orchestra. Ken himself plays twenty different instruments on the recording! This recording is distributed by Merriweather Records.
The song “Leaves”, with exquisite flute playing by Kathryn Moses, won the “Song From the Heart” award from the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals for Best Children’s Song.
Ken Whiteley and his musical friends debuted "Join The Band" at the Al Green Theatre in Toronto, followed by a busy summer schedule of appearances at concerts and festivals across the country.
More great children's recordings from Ken that you and your children will love:
What The Critics Say:
"What a pleasure it is to work in a community with colleagues as talented as Ken Whiteley. For years he has been a beacon for children's artists, maintaining his own musical integrity and dedication."
- Sharon, Lois & Bram
"As a performer and producer, Ken has been the 'silver thread' connecting an entire industry. There cannot be a children's entertainer in Canada who has not benefitted from his work."
- Bert Simpson, co-writer of many of Raffi's "hits"
"Ken Whiteley is one of those rare individuals whose love for music is as strong as his performing ability. The Winnipeg folk connection deserves special congratulations for bringing a performer as good as Whiteley to Winnipeg."
- Brian Wolfe, Winnipeg Uniter
"The children's music industry today would not be as strong as it is were it not for Ken's constant involvement in just about every major children's musical artist performing today."
- Rob Dawson, Whitman Golden Ltd.
"Whiteley might best be described as the godfather of Canadian children's music. The list of artists he has worked with includes virtually all the major acts. From Sharon, Lois & Bram to Raffi, Fred Penner to Bob Schneider, Whiteley has helped them all."
- Christopher Hume, Toronto Star
"Possibly no one has been more successful as a producer of children's albums than Ken Whiteley."
- Bruce E. Baker, Dirty Linen #82