Ken Karsh is currently a faculty member at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, a faculty member for the Duquesne University Summer Guitar Workshop and a faculty member at City Music Center. He is a member of the Duquesne University faculty guitar ensemble Catch 22 and is featured, along with his faculty colleagues Bill Purse, Mark Koch, and Jeff Mangone on its Reappearance and Sly on Life CDs. Ken's Sly on Life composition, the title track of Catch 22's new CD release, was featured in performances by Catch 22 on the Black Entertainment Television (BET) network and Pittsburgh's WQED, On Q television program.
Ken's arrangements and etudes are featured in the Mel Bay and Warner Bros. publications, Jazz Guitar Standards (2002) and Jazz Guitar Standards: Chord Melody Solos and Mel Bay's Guitar Journals: Jazz. He has authored two textbooks for guitar: Jazz Scale Workout (Mel Bay Publications) and the self-published Fingerboarding Made EZ: Scale & Arpeggio Visualization for Guitar. Ken has recently released a CD of his own compositions and jazz standards entitled Ventana and he is an endorser for Brockman Guitars, Mendoza Classical Guitars, Fender Musical Instruments (Guild guitars), and John Pearse Strings.
Over the past several years, Ken has performed live and on recordings with nationally and locally known musicians such as Jimmy McGriff, Barry Miles, Spider Rondinelli, Eric Kloss, Bobby McFerrin, Lee Konitz, Larry Elgart, Joe Negri, Joey DeFrancesco, 'Papa John- DeFrancesco, Jack McDuff, Gene Ludwig, Bernadette Peters, Nathan Davis, Michael Gibbs, and Angel Romero.
As guitarist for a variety of Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera musical theater productions, Ken has performed in such well known productions as Jesus Christ, Superstar, Chess, Chicago, A Chorus Line, Parade (composed by Jason Robert Brown, who conducted), Fiddler on the Roof (performing on guitar and mandolin), Copacabana (composed by Barry Manilow) and recently, The Lion King with the Gazelle Company at the Benedum Theatre in Pittsburgh. Ken has performed with such distinguished groups as the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra (performing on Mandolin). In 1981, he was featured as the solo electric guitarist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's performance of Andre Previn's Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra.
Ken began playing guitar at the age of 9 and has been deeply involved in music and music education ever since. He attended Berklee College of Music and received his B.M. and M.M. in Performance at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he now lives with his wife Andrea and their two children Alana and Aaron.