Ken Canedo has enjoyed a long history with Catholic music. As a child, when the Mass was still in Latin, he sang Gregorian chant in the children’s choir of his home parish in Los Angeles. He played guitar with his high school Folk Mass group in the late 1960s and played piano on Bob Hurd’s debut album in 1973. Ken’s first solo album, Take Some Time, was released in 1978 by FEL Publications.
Working as a pastoral musician with Bob Hurd in the 1980s at the Diocese of Oakland, the pair collaborated on the gospel-inspired Alleluia! Give the Glory collection that included the groundbreaking Mass of Glory. After a prodigal turn as a Bay Area punk rock musician in the early 1990s, Ken returned to liturgical music while working as youth minister at St. Monica Catholic Church in Moraga, California. He met Jesse Manibusan at an Oakland youth conference and they began composing songs together. This collaboration eventually led to their 2003 Unity Award winning album, Love Never Fails.
Ken and Jesse’s music was featured in OCP’s Spirit & Song, Volumes 1 and 2, and they gave workshops and concerts together around the United States. Ken was invited to become involved with OCP’s contemporary website, spiritandsong.com, where he served as Managing Editor and continues to serve as Spirit Spot blogger and as the voice behind the popular Liturgy Podcast.
Ken also loves to write and is a regular contributor to Today’s Liturgy magazine. In 2009, Pastoral Press released his first book, Keep the Fire Burning: The Folk Mass Revolution. It’s the untold story of the Folk Mass, the 1960s movement that blended the sacred with the secular by bringing the sound of American folk music to the Roman Catholic liturgy. With this book, Ken has gone back to the music that inspired him as a youth and continues to influence contemporary Christian music today.
“In my ministry I try to bring the generations together at the Eucharistic liturgy,” Ken explained. “My continuing involvement in youth ministry keeps me young and in touch with today’s teenagers, but I’ve been around long enough to also have a deep appreciation for the Church’s treasury of sacred music.” Indeed, Ken’s most recent album, Doxology, features both traditional hymnody and contemporary songs, uniting all generations around the Lord’s table.
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