Kenneth Every

Principal Timpani

Ken Every says that his parents gave him a drum set to set their pots and pans.

What do you want patrons of the Symphony to know about you?
I recently married an amazing woman who is also a percussionist. She always encourages me to do my very best and is my greatest fan, but also very honest about what she hears. She will rarely miss a concert. We live with two teens, Miles and Elena. Miles is very busy at Stanton and Elena is passionate about dance. She performs regularly in the First Coast Nutcracker. We have a dog that is a prolific shedder. I am also Assistant Personnel Manager at the JSO, as well as a qualified Health Coach.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional musician?
I really can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I’m not an especially talented cook, but I think I could picture myself as a chef. As a musician, I enjoy the challenge of continually striving to improve and enjoy being a part of a team. Perhaps working in a fine restaurant would be a similar experience. I don’t think that I am well suited to working behind a desk.

What do you do in your spare time (other than practice!)?
I start my day at 06:20am with the most aromatic, warm cup of coffee, in my special mug. To achieve this cup of coffee is a labor-intensive process. I enjoy cooking, reading, watching movies, taking our dog for walks. I love going to the beach in the evening. We’re raising two teenagers, so we spend a lot of time at home, preparing meals while listening to music when the kids are studying. I also started a Klezmer band named Guy and the Yehudas and love sitting behind the drum set to participate in this amazing, soulful music. We always like to find opportunities to camp and go outdoors. Our favorite campsite is in Medicine Bow National Forest.

What is your favorite thing about being a professional musician?
I love the fact that every day is different and challenging and that playing music is deeply personal. Music is international and I’ve enjoyed all of the relationships that I’ve developed around the world with so many other musicians all pursuing this art form. The internet has brought us so much closer and there are Facebook pages dedicated to the art of timpani where players from around the world can share and discuss ideas. It was actually on Facebook that I met my wife, Nidhi, who was playing percussion in an orchestra in South Africa.

What sport(s) do you participate in?
I recently discovered Pickleball, and hope to find a place to play in Jacksonville.

What is your favorite food?
I love so many different types of food. At the moment, I would have to say Indian, which we probably eat at least three times a week. We are currently building the kids’ tolerance for spices by slowly making the food hotter, little by little. I’m always joking about adding chillies to their lunches. I also love good Italian food since I spent a few years playing in an Italian orchestra. I’m very passionate about good coffee and beer as well.

Who is your favorite composer?
That’s a really tough question since I go through phases depending on what I’m playing at work. Also, it depends if I am listening while driving, cooking or just sitting down to listen for inspiration. I would have to say that Mahler always gives me chills, as do certain works of Richard Strauss, such as the Four Last Songs.

What’s currently on your iPod?
As Principal Timpanist of the Grand Teton Music Festival, I had so much music to prepare for this past summer, that my iPod was loaded with Copland, Beethoven, Schubert and others. So, it’s time to delete Copland Symphony # 3 and replace it with works for the upcoming Jacksonville Symphony season. I like to be exposed to new types of music and enjoy a variety of styles. There is so much music to explore and experience, so I am looking to discover what will move me next.

Bachelor's from the Curtis Institute of Music and Master's from the Cleveland Institute of Music