Born: June 30, 1960 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Ken Ard has originated leading roles in the Broadway companies of, Starlight Express, Dangerous Games and Cats and was nominated for an NAACP Award for his role in the Original Broadway cast of Smoke Joe’s Cafe. Being a two time Grammy Award winning artist for the musical soundtrack recordings of (Smokey’s and Cats) he is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (The Grammys). As a recording artist, He was the lead voice and co-writer for Wet Dreams, on Universal’s cutting edge label, Twisted records. In reviewing their debut release, “Rain” Larry Flick of Billboard Magazine raved, “Soulful star-powered vocals!” The Subsequent single “ Sunrise” was received with international critical acclaim and, by the end of its first week in the stores, was among the Top 40 selling records in America (Billboard Maxi Singles). In 1999 Ken’s image became recognizable after modeling underwear for the national print campaign, Let “em Know You’re Jockey on a thirty by seventy foot billboard perched high above Times Square. Ken’s celebrated charisma has been intensified over the years by playing principle parts opposite notably accomplished entertainment icons , such as: Anthony Quinn in the European cult film, Seven Servants: Patti Labelle in Geoffrey Holder’s revival of House of Flowers: and Gregory Hines in George C Wolfe’s Broadway musical smash hit, Jelly’s last Jam, as well as the American folk icon Odetta, Lou Rawls, Ben E. King, Gladys Knight, Gloria Gaynor, Harold Nicholas of the famed MGM dancing duo ‘The Nicholas Brother’ & The legendary Jon Hendricks to name a few. Ken also appears as ‘Wilbur’ in the 2002 Best Picture Oscar winning cinematic version of ‘Chicago’ for Miramax Pictures, starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere and Queen Latifa. Ken has performed in the White House for the President of the United States of America as well as in the Royal Palace in Morocco for King Hassan II at his annual New Years Eve private party for his family and close friends. For the past 5 years Ken has been pursuing a career as a jazz singer throughout Europe working with many of Europe’s notable jazz artist an will soon be releasing his long awaited first solo Jazz CD in the fall of 2008.
“Mr. Ard emulates and evokes all the great baritones of the Jazz era without imitating them.” Richard Christianson Chicago Tribune
“Ken Ard was born to be an entertainer. With a body that looks like sculpted perfection, and a voice that ranges from the sweetness of a choir boy to the depths of the devil ,” Ard radiates and mesmerizes.” Daily Variety
“Ard is a gem of an entertainer with a husky sultry voice. Crooning with breathless brilliance, his velvet- toned voice reminiscent of Nat King Cole’s is a real Crowd-pleaser. Taking command of the stage Mr. Ard creates a panorama of big city life. All I want to know is, when is Ken Ard coming back for his next show?”
The morning call Newspaper Theater review
“Ken Ard is breathtaking; he rises above the ordinary, bringing out all the passion and wistful essence in a love song As difficult as it is to cover a classic, Ard is Fantastic.“ Ann Gerber Syndicated Best Bets column
Gary and I both like Ken's CD. Gary Walker (station manager) added it right away and it's on the new shelf for everyone to play, Michael Bourne Station Host WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM