CMC Sessions: Gospel Piano Stylings with Ken Little

Gospel Piano Stylings with Ken Little

NEW DATE: March 23 from 2:30–3:30pm
CMC Piano Lab

Join faculty member Ken Little (piano, Black Music Studies Program) for an exploration of skills and practice techniques to enhance a variety of music styles such as gospel, R&B, pop, and jazz. Intermediate and advanced pianists will learn a variety of musical patterns based on the Universal Number System, riffs, left-hand chording techniques, and other stylistic essentials to incorporate effectively into your improvisation.

This free workshop is best suited for intermediate and advanced pianists. There will be limited space for participants in CMC’s Piano Lab. Please RSVP in advance to reserve your spot.

Kenneth Little has been playing music in the Bay Area for over 40 years. He was trained privately at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in the genre of classical music. It was there where he studied the art of playing piano and theory. His formable years began when he was a teenager playing for New Providence Baptist Church. It was at church where he learned how to play gospel music. He was first introduced to musical theater under the direction of Dr. Rhonnie Washington at San Francisco State University. His big break came when introduced to the founder of Lorraine Hansbury Theater by Arvis Strickling-Jones to the late Stanley Williams. He was the musical director for numerous productions of Langston Hughes’ “Black Nativity.” He also served as musical director for five productions of “A Soulful Christmas” which is the theater’s current holiday production. Ken was also featured keyboardist in the west coast premiere of “HIT IT” a hip hop musical conceived by Jared “Choclatt” Crawford who also starred on Broadway in the hit musical “Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk.” In 2019 “An Evening With Kenneth Little” was his debut at the infamous Yoshi’s supper club in Jack London Square. In 2020 right before the pandemic he served as musical director for the west coast premiere of “Bessie” the musical at the Margaret Lesher Theater in Walnut Creek, CA. Not only as pianist in the production but making his acting debut in the role of “Mr. Pickles” Bessie’s pianist. Currently he enjoys teaching beginning to advanced piano at the Community Music Center in San Francisco. “Presenting the joy of music to others is so rewarding.” Ken also engages in musical production and has his own studio. “I am humbled to have been blessed with the gift of music…For me, this journey never ends. It’s a marathon not a sprint.”

About CMC Sessions 2024:

Expand your musical toolbox and get inspired with CMC guitar, piano, and cultural traditions faculty. CMC Sessions comes to life with a new series of in-person workshops, presentations, and masterclasses in a wide range of musical styles and traditions. Explore historical and stylistic performance practices, learn new techniques, and spark your creative interests through enlightening demonstrations, thought-provoking discussions, and hands-on experience.

Join us for a session:

  • February 24: Improvisation Made Easy: How to Enhance Music Styling
    • Embodied Piano Playing with Allison Lovejoy
  • March 2: Piano Performance Psychology with Grace Huenemann
  • March 2: Follow My Lead: Accompaniment & Melody for Guitarists with Erik Pearson and Scott O’Day
    • Accompaniment for Guitar
    • Melody for Guitar
  • March 23: Gospel Piano Stylings with Ken Little (new date)
  • May 11: Nuts & Bolts of Jazz Piano Improvisation with Erick Peralta
  • May 11: Rhythmic and Harmonic Structure of Traditional Cuban Music with Tony Martinez and Erick Peralta
  • May 18: Baroque Improvisation Workshop with Shirley Wong-Frentzel
  • May 18: Histoire du Tango with Will Ludan and Monika Gruber

Date / Time

March 23, 2024
2:30 pm
Cost: Free

Type of Event



CMC Piano Lab
544 Capp Street, San Francisco, CA 94110