Gumbo in My Blood
Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, much of Ken Ard's early musical training consisted of jazz and blues. He began playing piano with a Dixieland combo at age 9, and played professionally in combos during his high school years at Holy Cross. Upon entering college, Ard decided to pursue a Classical agenda in order to be better prepared for a career in music. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Piano Performance) from the University of New Orleans, he went on to receive a Master of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1976, later studying with jazz great Ellis Marsalis. 'The Delta Queen' and 'Storyville, A Sweet Sportin' Proposition' (co-written by Lyla Hay Owen), are two of Ard's complete, two-act original musical theater productions which have been produced to date. Moving west in 1987, Ard brought his musical roots to San Diego, where he formed the band, Etouffee. Etouffee has played throughout southern California and can be heard backing Ard on his recently released CD, 'Gumbo in my Blood'. Mr. Ard also teaches at Grossmont College and continues to perform professionally.