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Ken's Story

Image of Ken Medema from his early career.
Image of Ken Medema from his early career.
Image of Ken Medema from his established career.
Image of Ken Medema from his established career.
Recent portrait of Ken Medema.

Celebrating 50 Years and counting!

Ken Medema is one of the most creative and authentic artists performing today.  He is a Christ follower with a passion for social justice.  Uniquely, he is also blind.  Ken has been visually impaired since birth. His sight has been limited to distinguishing between light and darkness and seeing fuzzy outlines of large objects. “I spent a lot of time by myself as a kid. Because I lived with some degree of being an outsider all my life, I identify with people who have been disenfranchised, whether they have been isolated, disabled, or oppressed.”  Ken shares, “for me, music made all the difference. I started banging on the piano when I was five years old, making up crazy little pieces on my mom’s piano. When I was eight years old my parents found me a wonderful teacher who taught me the classics with Braille music and encouraged me to play by ear. My teacher helped me to develop improvisation skills. Every time I learned a new piece, she would tell me, ‘Now, you improvise in that style.’ So, music became a second language.”

After graduating from high school Ken studied music therapy at Michigan State University and obtained both an undergraduate and masters degree.  After college, Ken worked as a music therapist.  During his time he counseled teens. Ken shares, “I had a bunch of teenagers who were really hurting,” he says, “and I started writing songs about their lives. Then I thought, ‘Why don’t you start writing songs about your Christian life?’ So I started doing that, and people really responded.”  In 1973 he decided to begin a career as a performing and recording artist. He recorded albums for Word and Shawnee Press; then, in 1985 founded Brier Patch Music. 

For five decades, he has used music as a vehicle for creating conversation through storytelling and reflection.  Today he performs in a variety of venues, Including local congregations, charity fundraisers, high schools, university campuses, church youth gatherings, televised religious programs, corporate conventions, annual assemblies of national organizations, and more.  Ken custom designs each performance, integrating new and old music with his gift of improvisation to suit the occasion. With an ever-growing circle of friends around the world, Ken's vocal and piano artistry and imagination have reached audiences of 50 to 50,000 in 49 United States and in more than 15 countries on four continents. Ken is a team player…loves working with event planners, spiritual leaders, teachers, and other artists.

Ken has been married to his wife, Jane, since 1965.  They live in the San Francisco Bay area of California and have two married children and four grandchildren.

Book Ken

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