Gerard Ahlgren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you do at Walker West?
I teach trumpet lessons and a jazz ensemble.

Instrument(s)?
I play trumpet, upright bass, piano, drums, and sing.

What style(s) of music do you teach/play?
I have a focus on jazz studies as that was my focus throughout my formal training at McNally Smith College of Music. But, I also teach classical as well.

Hometown?
Alpena, MI

What are some performance/professional highlights?
Professional highlights include receiving my bachelors and masters degree in music performance. I am also now part of the musicians union in Minnesota. I have played at multiple venues of note in the Twin Cities including: History Theatre, Old Log Theatre, Icehouse, Bunkers, Jazz Central, Dakota, Vieux Carre. I have performed with: Eugene Landau Murphy Jr., Ingrid Jensen, Charles Lazarus, Bob Mintzer, Nduju Chancler, Rodney Whitaker, and Robbie Smith. I currently perform with: Jaeydn James and the Hunger, Soultight Committee, Northstar, Blue Water Kings, Big Toe and the Jam, and Moonlight Serenaders.

What was your first gig?
My first paying gig was playing Taps for Veteran’s.

Favorite Walker West memory/experience?
Playing bass for my first time with my jazz ensemble at their first recital.

Musical influences?
All of the trumpet players!

Favorite album?
I didn’t have an answer for this for a long time because it is hard to pick favorites, but I find myself always coming back to Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor album Hard Groove.

Why is music education so important?
Not taking music education is like never taking a language class; without the fundamentals, one can only have so much understanding, thus one can be limited.

Advice to young musicians?
You have to really want be better to succeed.