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DEATH OF KEN E HENSON (article first published : 2007-05-25)

Music legend Ken E Henson’s life came to a peaceful end at 08h30 this morning (May 24) as he lay in his bed at his home in Glenashley, Durban.

Acclaimed as the master of the laid-back guitar, Ken pioneered a whole performance industry that opened up a generation of professional musicians to follow, to earn a living through plying their craft.

A spectacular and well-attended benefit concert to assist Kenny was held at Florida Road’s Thunder Road Rock Diner in April. His chronic emphysema had got increasingly worse over the last years and, since his hospitalisation in October, he was unable to perform and therefore earn a living. The last week or two had been increasingly difficult for him although he didn’t complain at all.

Spokesperson for the family and music friends, Tanya van Agthoven, says that it was his generosity of spirit and dedicated personal time which Ken’s wife Arlene thought of immediately after he had passed away. That Kenny would have known how loved he was through this benefit concert and that he had had this touching and dedicated “celebration of his life”.

The proposed one-night event turned into a sell-out three-night run as artists and musicians from all genres showed their respect to their fellow musician friend, some flying in from all parts of the country at their own expense to be a part of this great man’s benefit and to edify him in the simplest of ways.

Ken turned 60 in March this year and celebrated 50 years of music. He had toured extensively nationally and internationally in various capacities. Ken was the Henson in Finch and Henson for many years. He was also a member of the ground-breaking group Freedoms Children as well as the group Abstract Truth.

He had worked as a performer and musical director within the theatre and was a respected studio-recording artiste and composer and had been a familiar face and name as a session musician behind many great names. His fine creative and versatile guitar playing in a broad spectrum of musical idioms proved him to be a reliable virtuoso, playing with sensitivity and flair.

Kenny’s physical absence will be felt in the music world but his sensitivity and his humble spirit will remain forever. Arlene and Kenny’s family have expressed, once again, their sincere and heartfelt thanks to friends and musos who helped to make possible (and quoting his own words) the Benefit evenings as being “one of the greatest memories” of his life. They are content knowing he is now at peace.

The Memorial service for Ken takes place on May 29 at 10h00 at Glenridge Christian Fellowship (above the bus terminal at Durban station – of NMR).

More information from Tanya van Agthoven on 082 747 9738 or email: tva_pr@global.co.za




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