Living 60 miles away in Fergus Falls, the determined young student would ride the train to Moorhead every other Saturday for lessons. The luring attraction of the rock band era forged by the Beatles in the mid-60's consequently led him to electric guitar and the dissection of popular songs. This rather basic skill learned at an early age has proved very useful later in life with more complex musical forms. Estrem later studied classical guitar with Jeffrey Van in St. Paul, MN, and taught classical guitar at Macalester College, Augsburg College, and Hamline University in Minneapolis/St.
Paul, MN. His affection for classical, jazz, world, popular, blues, and early music has made his performances somewhat difficult to classify. Rather than remain strictly within one genre he prefers to perform and arrange pieces from a variety of sources. He keeps an ever-changing repertoire on 8 and 6-string classical guitars, 7 and 6-string acoustic guitars, 7- string jazz guitar, electric bass, 8-course renaissance lute, tenor ukulele, sarod and bouzouki. Estrem is best known for his recorded guitar duet work with John Holmquist.
Their first LP recording, Music of Edvard Grieg (on the Cavata label) consists of Estrem's transcriptions of 11 Lyric Pieces and the Holberg Suite, published by Music of the Americas. He was the arranger and producer of 5 CDs of jazz standards recorded with Holmquist on the Projazz label which were distributed internationally. The duo concertized extensively for many years and performed on NPR's "St. Paul Sunday" program, a nationwide broadcast.
They had the opportunity to play for Segovia while the maestro dined at a private home after giving a concert. He seemed unfamiliar with the duet repertoire and kept requesting more music (as he consumed his steak). In 1978 Estrem graduated from the University of Minnesota Dental School and the evening of graduation gave a solo concert at Macalester College. The concert hall date had to be reserved 9 months in advance and the Dental School only announced its graduation day 6 months in advance. Although the over-scheduled day was somewhat of a coincidence, a friend commented that this was a sign that music would continue to be a passionate force for many years to come. Estrem says, "listening to good music is fine, and can be very moving, but I Iove to play it.
The musical vibrations going through my body somehow make me feel better and more alive. It's especially magical when a musician is able to get into that "zone" where technique simply flows and time is suspended. There was a now-defunct music store in the Twin Cities that had as its motto, If you really Love music ---Play It. Of course, they had an ulterior motive, but I always liked that phrase.
I love intimate music....solos, duets, trios or quartets. It's possible to get a good look into the soul of the artist with a small ensemble. There is no language like music when it comes to expressing emotions." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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