Tag Archives: The Ken Ford Foundation

Appreciating ‘The Sound’ of Music

The Ken Ford Foundation

By: Portia Rice

I’m new to the TWS blog roll and call it quite an honor to write my first post ever!  Since coming onboard, it’s been all things music, entertainment, fashion, media – all very exciting!  However, the one moment I’ve come to really appreciate is our agency’s involvement with keeping music alive in our schools through The Ken Ford Foundation.

In this day and time, it’s really a challenge for children to get exposure to the kind of music that can fuel their dreams – this is heartbreaking, considering we live in such a time where the world is at our fingertips, but sadly, music seems to be slipping through.

With a recent appearance on our agency’s show, The Greenlight Project, this unique,talented and most of all gifted musician, Ken Ford, will be sharing his talent with us in concert June 25, 2010 at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center in Atlanta.  The concert is actually FREE to children and will have Grammy-nominated vocalist, Dionne Farris, singer/songwriter/producer/musician Daniel Moore who’s also a staple on BET’s The Mo’Nique Show and new pop/urban/soul/alternative vocalist, Salakida all performing and I hear there are even more surprises in store. Talk about awesome!

Growing up in Milwaukee, WI as a student of Atwater Elementary School, we had the choice to play an instrument beginning in the third grade. I was so eager have my chance at playing an instrument because all of the “popular kids” were either in orchestra or the band.  When I finally I made it to the third grade, I was introduced to the violin so to have Ken Ford become so accomplished at it makes me very proud to say that I played as well.  The violin often gets a bad rap, but I was excited and enthusiastic to play and continued playing throughout elementary through the eighth grade.  While playing the violin I learned a lot about myself and I became at peace with things I was going through.  The violin itself is such a strong and graceful object that the horse-tailed bow just adds to the music, giving it that soft melody!

I do have to give credit where it’s due, my father loves jazz, so every day on the way to school he’d make me listen to “Smooth Jazz” 93.3 FM!  At first, I hated listening to it because it was all instruments never an artist singing!  My dad would always say, “Now this is really music Portia; just sit back and listen to the violin, clarinet, and flute.”  I would just sigh and sit back in my seat (OMG, it felt like torture!)..  When I think back to those times, I can really appreciate an artist like Ken Ford because he is really making “real” music and not just using a Mac to Google a sound for his next song!

When listening to Ken Ford, there is no need for a vocal artist because his nonverbal communication skills speak for him.  The way he rocks back and forth and moves with the bow makes you feel the melodies going through one ear and out the other.  This concert will truly be inspiring and relaxing, make sure to come out and enjoy this wonderful concert all the while supporting music and arts in school – and did I mention it’s free to children??  Or if you’re not in the Atlanta area, listen to our show when the critically acclaimed electric violinist, Ken Ford was the guest and hear him for yourself!

Thanks for allowing me to share my blog with you .

Signing off,

Intern Tia Tia

It’s ELECTRIC! The Greenlight Project Welcomes Ken Ford, Acclaimed Electric Violinist


Please join us on Friday, May 28th as we welcome Critically Acclaimed Electrifying Violinist, Ken Ford and Founder of The Ken Ford Foundation, a prestigious music and arts program kicking off in Atlanta this summer with a concert series free to children!

Ken Ford grew up in a home filled with the diverse sounds of jazz, blues, and R&B. Born on November 14, 1968 in St. Louis, Missouri, Ken lived in Detroit, Michigan with his Parents, before making their permanent home in Atlanta, Georgia. From The Jackson Five and Earth, Wind & Fire concerts to his father’s DJ gigs, Ken was immersed in music. Ken’s parents recognized a special gift in their only child one night when they overheard him at a party, playing along with an Al Green song note for note on a toy keyboard – long before his first music lesson! From that point on, they kept an instrument in his hands and eventually led him to the stringed instruments, and at the impressionable age of nine, he settled on the violin.

Throughout school, Ken trained classically to play the violin, which led him to becoming a founding member of the DeKalb Youth Pops Orchestra. He would also train himself how to play by ear by mocking the popular music heard on the radio. These experiences heightened his determination to continue his training to master the instrument. Always progressive with his music, Ken joined the African American Philharmonic Orchestra (AAPO) where he had the rare opportunity of performing background orchestral styling for the late, great Barry White. While a member of the AAPO, Ken had the honored privilege to work his way to, and hold the position of Concert Master.

Ken’s efforts pay him in many dividends. He now enjoys a solid and accomplished career, playing alongside some of contemporary jazz, soul and R&B greats such as Ledisi, Wayman Tisdale, Wyclef Jean, and Lalah Hathaway. The list goes on and on, and it continues to grow as audiences across the nation are introduced to this electrifying instrumentalist. With three successful CDs under his belt, his first release Burnt Toast, his sophomore release Chevelle Lane, and his third release Right Now, Ken continues to top the charts.

In addition to creating unique music and entertaining music lovers Worldwide, Ken aspires to give back to the community through The Ken Ford Foundation, a non-profit foundation to bring music back into the schools, with a focus on stringed instruments. Ken hopes to inspire young kids to think the word “cool” in association with these instruments, especially the violin. A Grammy-nominated laced celebration scheduled for June 25th at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, listeners of The Greenlight Project can tune in to have a chance to WIN tickets to experience this musical explosion!  For more info, please visit www.TheKenFordFoundation.org.

Please support this amazing endeavor by purchasing tickets at http://kenfordfoundationbenefit.eventbrite.com/.

This show and concert you WILL NOT want to miss!!

Celebrate Life ANYWAY!

By: Tamika L. Morrison

I swear, if I could get away with writing a repeat of last week’s Running on Empty, I sure would do it!  Life hasn’t changed much since my last post – I’m still wearing more than a few hats and now I have the audacity to try and get some celebrations in!

I can be tough on myself – I’m sure most of you can identify with that, but being hard on yourself doesn’t add to your growth and it certainly doesn’t add any length of days to your life.  Let’s face it – you’ll win some and you’ll lose some.  Have you ever heard the saying, “I may not be where I want to be, but I’ve definitely come a long way.” Stop right there, meditate on how far you’ve come and get to celebrating!

Life isn’t perfect, we aren’t perfect, but if we care enough about the lessons life teach us and put our best feet forward, you best believe, you’ll start to see more of what you want out of life.  And to that, I’m off to celebrate – and for more than one reason!

Reason #1SATC2 (Sex and the City 2) Premiere!  Charlotte, NC (my hometown), here I come!  I can’t wait to get all dressed up with my favorite girls.  We’ll giggle, sip, dish, make memories and pretend for just a moment, we really have all things GLAM just to feel a little like Carrie Bradshaw and her friends!

Tamika, Grammy-Nominated Vocalist Dionne Farris, Electric Violinist, Ken Ford & Annette Jackson, Exec. Dir. of The Ken Ford Foundation

Reason #2Critically Acclaimed Electric Violinist, Ken Ford will be on The Greenlight Project this Friday, May 28th @ 11am and we’re giving away TWO (2) tickets to see Ken Ford and Grammy-Nominated Vocalist, Dionne Farris, Grammy-Nominated singer/songwriter/producer I Am Daniel Moore and pop urban soul  sensation, Salakida perform LIVE in concert for the launch of The Ken Ford Foundation prestigious music and arts program in Atlanta on June 25th – the best part of this….children 5 – 18 are absolutely FREE!  Now that’s definitely a reason to start celebrating!

So, join me and celebrate!  Away from life’s ‘busyness’ and take it even further and send us an email to win those Ken Ford tickets!  If you’ve never seen him in person performing live, you’re in for a treat!

Until next time,

CIAO Baby!

Follow me @twsprfirm