Kenn Baert began his accordion studies in the second grade through a music program at St. Bavo School in Mishawaka, IN. conducted by Gene Van. Kenn enrolled in private lessons, studying with Laura Van, and progressed very quickly winning numerous state and national awards. In 1983, under the tutelage of Mary Ann VanPaemel, he won the Indiana Virtuoso Solo Championship. Kenn performed at Carnegie Hall in New York as a member of the Gene Van Virtuoso Ensemble, after the group won the American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) U.S. Virtuoso Championship. In 1984, Kenn was first runner-up in the AAA Midwest Cup Regional Championship and second runner-up in the 1984 AAA United States Virtuoso Championship.
Kenn is a 1989 graduate of Marquette University, in Milwaukee, WI, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He married his wife, Susan in 1993 and they have 3 children, Andrew, Kathleen and Kristin. Kenn and Sue currently reside in Barrington Hills, IL. In 2014, Kenn retired from his Principal Technical Architect position in Information Technology at AT&T.
After graduating from High School, Kenn left his accordion virtually untouched until he received a phone call from Gene Van asking him to participate in a reunion concert. After 20 years of leaving his accordion in the closet, Kenn began playing again in 2008. At this reunion concert, Kenn was introduced to the Roland Digital V-Accordion by Joe Natoli. He went on to win the 2009 Roland United States Digital Accordion championship in Los Angeles, CA.
Kenn currently serves as the 1st Vice President of the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) and has a small number of accordion students that he teaches from his home in Barrington Hills, IL.