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Dave Alstead in Perham Jan. 26

Pianist/Composer Dave Alstead will be holding a concert at Calvary Lutheran Church in Perham on January 26 at 7 p.m. The event is free of charge. Dave Alstead grew up in a very musical family and has an extensive classical piano background; but w...

Pianist/Composer Dave Alstead will be holding a concert at Calvary Lutheran Church in Perham on January 26 at 7 p.m. The event is free of charge.

Dave Alstead grew up in a very musical family and has an extensive classical piano background; but with the added benefit of a willingness to mix it up. Performance is not new to him, as he has played before audiences since he was very young.

David began playing piano by ear at the age of 3, and started piano lessons at age 5. His parents found that there was more of a problem getting him off the piano than getting him to practice.

He was fortunate enough to have a teacher who felt strongly about basing his playing on classical technique, which he readily incorporated into his existing gift of playing by ear. In addition, his teacher stressed the importance of music theory, which he truly enjoyed.

In high school he began suffering from the debilitation effects of Meniere's Disease, a progressive syndrome causing severe dizzy spells, nerve noise and hearing loss. An experimental surgical procedure at age 19 cured him of the dizzy spells, but resulted in an unfortunate complete hearing loss in his left ear that continues today.

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While in college, he discovered that his desire to stray musically and the musical interests of his music professors did not necessarily mesh, so he decided to work on his own, creating, over the years, the unique style he has come to be known for.

Recently, he described his usual day as being spent "... 'encouraging' the inclusion of pop sensibilities, jazz chordal structures and various seemingly inappropriate musical elements into a sometimes belligerent and unwilling classical music form." Listen to his performances of a few of his songs, and you will understand exactly what that means.

David's musical life is diverse and varied. He has played in bands performing pop, rock, jazz, lounge, easy listening, big band, classical and choral music.

He has played in innumerable pit orchestras for musical theatre. He has performed improvisational music as part of a long-form improvisational comedy group. All of these experiences have exposed him to a variety of people and ideas, all of which he has integrated into his own personal musical statement.

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