About Ken

Ken Sarmiento, aka “phuzaxeman”, was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Newbury, Ohio.  His love for playing music started after his mother bought a piano for the family in grade school.  He observed and learned to play piano from a jazz/blues pianist named Morris that taught Ken’s mother and brother at home for several years.  Eventually gravitating toward playing drums for many high school bands, Ken also took percussion and drum lessons from a local big band/jazz drummer, Bob Alexander.  Ken started to play and write original songs on guitar by age 15.

Moving to Houston after high school, Ken help co-found the Houston band Phuz with brothers Edwin and Edward Casapao.  In addition to playing several shows around town in the Houston area for many years, Phuz notably became the house band at the Project Row Houses in 3rd Ward working with many soul, rap, and spoken word artists. 

With the album LP release of WATER, Phuz caught its big break when asked to join in Sade’s Lover’s Rock Tour in 2001 with India.Arie as well as sharing evenings and stages with notable artistis including Groove Collective, Blue Man Group, Alicia Keys, Ryan Adams, Tony Bennett, Alanis Morrissette, K.D. Lang, Sting, and Natalie Merchant.  Television appearances include The Pepsi Challenge on the International Channel and The Connection on PBS.  Phuz’s albums Water (2001) and Forgiveness (2007) have both sold nationwide. 

After the success of Phuz, Ken shifted more into production.  In 2005 he met actress and vocalist, Julin.  He released Julin’s debut album Transitions (2007) as producer, musician, writer, and musical director.  In support of Julin’s album release, Ken put together a complete band.  Houston Chronicle writer Joey Guerra describes, "the musical chemistry is apparent throughout the disc, which features ambient hip-hop touches, rock flourishes and late-night lounge grooves."  Julin has gone on to release a self-released single in 2010 and the album Play in 2012 with other artists and producers. 

2012 marked the beginnings of Ken’s current band, Channel K, with the online release of the debut album Human Beings.  An electric rock and groove hybrid, the album featured three tracks including Check Your Head, Human Being, and These Thoughts.  Channel K performed their first live show in 2013 and released their latest album Super Queen in the summer of 2017.  Notable live performances include Austin’s SXSW in 2016 and 2017, Houston’s House of Blues, and Warehouse Live.  Channel K's current members include Cyn Leal, Raul Sarmiento, and Rick Mendez.    

When not performing, producing, song writing or teaching music, Ken donates his time to organize and run a guitar club at a local public school.

Career Highlights


-2017 Custom Designs TV w/Trixie Flynn #

-2017 SXSW Interview w/KTRU Radio #

-2016 KTRU Live Radio Channel K Interview # 
-2013 Spinning Infinity Productions Interview #
-International Channel Debut – Stir -TV Pepsi Challenge (nominated top 20) * 
-Houston PBS Debut – The Connection TV show * 
-90.1 FM KPFT –Soular Grooves show * 
-Texas Live TV Show * 
-Love that Lumpia! Movie Soundtrack * 
-90.1 FM KPFT – Music Beyond Borders *,^ 
-Ahead Shot Internet TV Show Ep. 5 ^ 
-LumpiaPalooza Concert DVD * 
-91.7FM KTRU *
-Ahead Shot Internet TV Show #

Newspaper/Web Coverage

-2019 Flash Gordon Show (Phuz honored Houston Cultural Scene)

-2017 Twist Online Interview

-2017 UK Writer Dave Franklin, Super Queen Review

-2017 Skope Magazine

-2016 Phuzaxeman 3 Acoustic Guitar (last guitar) Cyr Guitars

-2016 Official Phuzaxeman Moniker Guitar Release

-2016 Sponsorship Moniker Guitars

-2015 Sponorship/Endorsement w/Stringjoy Company

-2012 Featured Artist, Warehouse Speakers Company USA
-2011 Houston Press Nominee for Best Guitarist 
-2011 Houston Press Nominee for Best Producer
-Asian Blue Magazine – FrontCover Featured Band/Exclusive Article *
-Houston Press *, ^
-Houston Chronicle *,^,x 
-Houston Press "Artist of the Week"
-Daily Cougar * 
-Rice Addict Magazine - Featured Band *
-Envy Magazine x, Featured Artist/Endorsement Phuzaxeman Guitars ^ 
-Featured Artist/endorsement ModTone Guitar Effects pedals ^
-Houston Calling Online *,^, x 
-Pedaltrain Guitar Product – Featured Artist ^ 
-VH1-Featured Artist *,^ 

-MTV Featured Band * Featured Artist * 
-Featured artist/endorsement Comfort Strapp ^
-2002 Critics Choice Awards for Best Funk & R&B *
-2003 Cynthia Woods Pav Award Winners for Best Songwriting, Best Appearance, and Best Overall Performance


Notable Venues

-House of Blues, Houston - Foundation Room

-Maggie May Austin

-Dirty Dog Austin

-Galleria Houston

-Engine Room Houston

-Party on The Plaza, Downtown Houston

-Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

-Miller Outdoor Theatre

-Warehouse Live


Notable Artists/Bands (has shared gigs with)

Alanis Morissette*
Ryan Adams*
Chris Isaak*

Glorious Sons#
Annie Lennox*
Natalie Merchant*
Blue Man Group*
KD Lang*
Tony Bennett*
Alicia Keys*
Bob Schneider*
Groove Collective*

-Major Online Distributor





iheart Radio

Note: (*)phuz, (x)julin, (#)channel k, and ^ken only