Ken Pasciak is a guitarist, music theorist, composer and arranger.
Originally from Buffalo, NY, Ken began his musical studies as a trumpet player, performing in various concert bands, jazz ensembles and brass quintets. Though a talented trumpeter, musical interests and opportunities led him to the guitar. As a student of jazz guitarist, Frank Gerard, he not only learned the mechanics of playing, but the reasoning behind the sounding pitches. Ken recalls that in many lessons with Frank, discussions of musical concepts were just as stimulating as playing the music itself. His newfound enthusiasm for music theory led him to study music at the University of Buffalo. He has since performed on guitar with several groups, including Blue Fuzz, a Buffalo-based jazz-fusion band, and Genkin Philharmonic, an electro-acoustic chamber ensemble. He also briefly studied and performed on the shamisenduring an extended visit to Sapporo, Japan.
Recently, Ken earned a Master of Music degree with a concentration in music theory from the University of Massachusetts. His thesis, “A Transformational Approach to Japanese Traditional Music of the Edo Period,” develops a novel voice-leading space that yields insights into musical intervallic structure, trichordal transposition and hexachordal voice leading. His other research interests include the music of Ravel and Takemitsu.
Ken is the guitarist for La Rebelión del Tango, a Vermont-based tango group that performs the music of Astor Piazzolla. When not performing or theorizing, he teaches guitar and music theory, and composes and arranges music for classical and jazz guitar and various ensembles.