Ken Canedo
About (Biography)

Ken Canedo composes liturgical music in the styles that have inspired him, from traditional chant and hymnody to gospel, jazz and rock. He has collaborated with fellow OCP composers Jesse Manibusan and Bob Hurd as a songwriter and event presenter. Proficient in piano, guitar and electric bass, Ken gives workshops around the country on liturgy and youth ministry, bringing youth and adults together in discovery and empowerment. He also facilitates Confirmation retreats.

Ken is a writer for MINISTRY & LITURGY and TODAY'S LITURGY magazines. His first book, Keep the Fire Burning, was recently published by Pastoral Press.  It's a compelling history of the Folk Mass, the 1960s movement that blended the sacred with the secular by bringing the sound of American folk music to Roman Catholic liturgy. He is now working on the sequel that will continue the story of contemporary Catholic music in the 1970s and 80s.


Born in Los Angeles, Ken received his master of divinity degree from St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, California. He is now involved in youth and music ministry at parishes in the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, and is a clinician for the We Remember, We Believe liturgy & leadership conference in Northern California.  Ken also serves as co-director of the youth choir at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Beaverton, Oregon. He is actively involved with spiritandsong.com, most notably as the voice behind the popular weekly Liturgy Podcast.

Some composers are good at one thing -- one style of music, one kind of setting.  But Ken Canedo listens, writes and plays across a range of genres: ancient chant, sacred classics, folk, gospel, rock and jazz.
-Erin Nieves | former Marketing Director, Oregon Catholic Press

In a span of two hours, Ken has his audience laughing, crying and listening intently, except when they're singing almost a dozen of his songs.
-Nancy Haught | The Oregonian

At first glance, Keep the Fire Burning looks like a quick and easy read but don't be fooled. Canedo has packed each of the 140 pages with fascinating research, history and very human stories on a period in the Catholic Church which surprisingly few have written about.
-Susan Bailey |  Grapevine

With Ken Canedo's wonderful book, I feel as if I've found the missing link. This is the only book I know of that looks in depth at the Catholic music of the 1960s to provide an excellent empirical account of the rise of the folk music movement in the Church, a movement that was about much more than music actually.
-Jeffrey Tucker |  New Liturgical Movement

While this book traces the development of the Folk Mass and its music, it does much more than that! It is an important contribution to the history of the liturgical reform in the 1960s. The Folk Mass is deeply symbolic. This music contains the collective yearnings, hopes and desires of the people of God as they re-imagined the Church through Catholic liturgy.
-Michael Fitzpatrick | Liturgy News (Australia)

For those of you who are studying liturgy, Ken Canedo's new book is a must!  Keep the Fire Burning is a history of the Folk Mass revolution from 1960 to 1970.  It was what it was -- the living faith of the people.  Enjoy!
-Elaine Rendler-McQueeney | Today's Liturgy magazine

Ken Canedo captures very well the social, religious and political atmosphere of the early 1960s, when I and many others began writing songs in a folk style for worship occasions and other Christian gatherings. These were heady days during the Second Vatican Council when many Catholics began to welcome less-formal styles of worship and few guidelines existed.
-Jack Miffleton | Teacher, songwriter for children, and Folk Mass composer

Ken Canedo has written a history of the Folk Mass revolution and he has done all of us an immense service -- classically trained musicians, formally trained liturgists, parish priests, conservatives, liberals, folk musicians, or whatever label you attach to your "autobiography of your ear."  
-Rev. Virgil Funk | President Emeritus, National Association of Pastoral Musicians

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