Right Brain: Ken Kassover
As a neuropsychologist, pianist Ken Kassover knows playing music is good for the brain. “They’re beginning to show that people who are engaged in learning throughout their lives – in brain autopsy – their brains look better,” he said.Kassover steps outside his jazz repertoire by playing with salsa, country and rock ‘n’ roll bands not only to improve his musicianship, but also his health. “I am now 61 years of age, which to me is young; but there was a time I didn’t view that as young,” he said.Kassover’s piano career began at 15, and most recently, he’s been performing with the Jazz Consort on Thursdays at Ti Amo Restaurant and with the blues and rock stylings of the Tommy Shreve band. Kassover will soon stretch himself even further, as he’s been asked to fill in on piano for three upcoming Sunday services at the Father Dyer Church in Breckenridge.
What are your dreams/what would you like to do with your art? I dream of bringing top-level jazz groups to perform publicly in Summit County using some of the best musicians in the state as well as helping create more of a local jazz music scene. Although my first love is jazz, my dream is to continue performing other genres as well including variety, rock, country and classical music with great musicians who love to play together.What does art give you/why do you do it? Performing music gives me a spontaneous form of expression in which I can interact and communicate with others in a positive emotional way. I do it because it is uplifting and rejuvenates my soul.What do you try to convey through your art?
I like to convey a full range of emotions from joy to serenity, excitement to tranquility and I like to use humor and spontaneity as a way to uplift the spirit. What has been your biggest challenge, and how do you deal with it?My biggest challenge is to keep growing as a musician. As a pianist I do this by constantly taking on projects that require me to develop new skills rather than always use the skills I already possess. What are you most proud of regarding your art (and/or greatest accomplishment)? A recent accomplishment of which I am most proud is the release of my new solo piano CD, “Ken Kassover, At Home.” I am particularly proud of the fact that these are all first takes recorded in one session from beginning to end without any dubbing to correct or cover up any performance imperfections.
How do you stay fresh/motivated?By playing a variety of music, with a variety of musicians in a variety a venues.What do you do when you’re not making art? Besides practicing neuropsychology, I enjoy being with my family including my dear wife Phillippa, director of fundraising for Keystone Symposia, my daughter and two grandchildren who live in Colorado Springs, and three sons who live in Seattle, Madison, Wis., and Washington, D.C. Two of my sons are professional musicians and one of them, Josh, did the artwork and design for my new CD. I also enjoy bicycling and cross country skiing as well as making new friends.
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