Aaron Stroessner to release new recording “Gifts”
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 4th, 2022
|About The Aaron Stroessner Quartet: |
To describe the music of the Aaron Stroessner Quartet; a brief look at the life of the composer, Aaron Stroessner (Stressner).
Aaron grew up in tiny Monroe, Wisconsin, at a time when, strangely, the area seemed to rule rock, with bands like Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, and Styx from nearby. While too young to see those bands, Aaron, the youngest of a big family, grew up a bit of a rock aficionado, more perceptive listener than participant, although he played guitar along with his albums in the family’s basement. Putting a band together seemed like a dream, but finding other players was nearly impossible. Going to college in Madison, Wisconsin, Aaron came under the spell of slide blues guitarist Paul Black, a local legend. Roots music came to the fore. Within two years Aaron transferred to Berklee school of music to study guitar. At that time there were many great players to see in Boston, young guys like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roy Hargrove, and John Medeski. Aaron’s horizons expanded further, again, principally as a listener.
Moving to New York in 1991, Aaron was ready to make a statement. He found his voice returning to his roots, fronting the rock band Dead Left, which he called ‘country/punk/grunge/pop.’ The band released 4 CDs which garnered some attention from major labels, and played what were some of NYC’s most notorious rock clubs, including CBGBs, the original Knitting Factory, Arlene’s Grocery and the Continental. But after almost a decade, Aaron’s days of singing (and being a rocker) seemed, well, over. A return to jazz, now as a writer and player, felt like another return to his past, to a different part of his past, always an encouraging sign. Aaron attended graduate schools at New York University and then the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, with hopes of becoming a music professor (guitar is so poorly represented) but happy just to be playing.
The Aaron Stroessner Quartet started in Lincoln around 2012. Aaron met organist Kevin Lloyd after a performance with Jazzocracy at the Zoo Bar, one of the oldest blues clubs in the country. Kevin Lloyd grew up in Lincoln studying piano under local luminary Adaline Spurgeon, a former silent movie accompanist. As a teenager, Kevin played with blues legend Magic Slim. Kevin was known in Lincoln and Omaha as a consummate player and collector of B3 organs, and was into playing new material.
While the quartet has featured several different bassists, Andrew Wray played drums on each of the group’s releases. Hailing from Kansas City, Andrew also lived in Lincoln to attend UNL. The son of music educator Ben Wray, Andrew clearly plays like a young man beyond his years. For those of you still reading, Aaron did become a professor, teaching adjunct at several Colleges, and still plays with Jazzocracy on Tuesday nights!
All songs Composed by Aaron Stroessner
Aaron Stroessner: Guitar
Kevin Lloyd: Hammond B3 Organ, Wurlitzer Piano, Accordion
Andrew Mell: Bass
Andrew Wray: Drums
About Aaron Stroessner Aaron Stroessner currently resides in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he is a professor of music at four area schools: Nebraska Wesleyan, Wayne State College, Southeast Community College, and Iowa Western Community College, where he teaches guitar lessons, jazz ensemble, music history and theory classes. Aaron moved to Lincoln in 2012 to earn his DMA degree in Jazz Guitar from the University of Nebraska, which he completed in 2016. Aaron earned his Masters of Music in Jazz Studies at New York University, following a Bachelors of Music in Professional Music at Berklee College of Music.
Aaron Stroessner is available for interviews.