Jack Breen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you do at Walker West?
I teach private lessons and coach jazz ensembles.

Instrument(s)?
I mainly play saxophone, clarinet, and flute, but I also teach a variety of other instruments.

What style(s) of music do you teach/play?
I play and teach both jazz and classical idioms. I also teach a variety of popular genres.

Hometown?
I grew up in Saint Paul, MN and took lessons with Walker|West’s very own Felix James from 3rd grade through high school.

What are some performance/professional highlights?
I have performed on stage with Mike Stern, Alan Pherber, Tim Garland, Geoff Keezer, Joe Locke, Bill Carothers, Timothy Albright, Wayne Bergeron, and many more musicians.

What was your first gig?
I can’t even remember at this point, but Walker|West gave me so many opportunities to perform while growing up that I think this was one of the main advantages I had over my peers.

Favorite Walker West memory/experience?
One year at the Eau Claire Jazz Fest we were able to take both 1st and 2nd place with two fantastic ensembles.

Musical influences?
So many to choose from. Right now I am trying to study as much Coltrane as possible with some of the players I look up to most currently.

Favorite album?
John Coltrane’s Crescent

Why is music education so important?
It means so much to be able to give students some of the same opportunities that I had growing up. Every small accomplishment in music gave me the confidence to keep doing something that was not only productive for myself, but was also something other people in my life could enjoy.

Advice to young musicians?
Don’t get discouraged, we are all still learning.