David Kai

Region: Ontario Toronto
Generation: Sansei


David Kai grew up in Toronto as a Sansei attending the Centennial-Japanese United Church where he was highly involved in its music ministry. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto, the Humber College music program where he specialized in arranging and composing, and The Centre for Christian Studies. Commissioned as a diaconal minister in 1987, David served in churches in Birtle, Manitoba, Orleans and Ajax, Ontario.

David has written hymn tunes and arrangements in collaboration with esteemed authors and composers such as Ruth Duck, Linnea Good, Pat Mayberry, and Brian Wren. His hymns and arrangements appear in two United Church of Canada hymn books, and also in hymn books and collections in China and the USA.

David names his hymn tunes after camps and ghost towns in Canada and the USA where people of Japanese ancestry were interned during World War 2. In this way, he hopes to ensure that these historic injustices will not be forgotten. All of his hymns reflect his commitment to social justice, and one in particular, "Our God Goes With Us" outlines the history of the Centennial-Japanese United Church.

As a musician, David has performed with groups and musicians such as Terry Watada, Linnea Good, the Union United Church Gospel Choir, and in bands playing styles ranging from calypso and reggae to rock, country and gospel. He has served as a musician at numerous national and international church gatherings.

David and spouse Marly Bown live near Grand Bend, Ontario and have three adult children.

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