About Aaron Kerr

"If you find yourself out for a stroll down a certain street in St. Paul, Minnesota, you may hear a peculiar sound coming from one of the houses with lights on in the basement. It may be a low moan, a quiet tiptoe, or a samurai warrior sparring with a woodpecker. As unique and unrelated as these sounds may be, I assure you they will all be emanating from the bow and cello of Aaron Kerr.

"I've known Aaron for over a decade, and in that time I've been privileged to know him as an artist and a man. We've been coworkers, collaborators, bandmates, and friends. In my opinion he is the most talented and innovative musician out there. He has never failed to surprise, intrigue, and inspire me with what he has been capable of doing with his music and his life. Currently, Aaron is juggling several music projects, his family, and a job while also finding time to teach cello. His wife is his high school sweetheart. His kids are smart, polite, and budding musicians themselves. He tends a garden and a compost area. He makes his own syrup, salsa, and tea and graciously shares it when anyone comes down to the basement to jam. With all of these commitments and a crazy schedule, Aaron remains a calm and good-natured man with a big laugh and a bigger heart. He is organic. He is Zen. And his life is reflected in his playing.

"While Aaron was classically trained at Loyola University and is skilled at performing with orchestras and writing scores, he has found that an atypical approach to cello fits his personal style and musical philosophy. He is a trailblazer in the art of improvisation and avant-garde. He has not limited himself in any way; he can perform with a chamber group one day and a free form jazz/rock fusion band the next. Through fresh bow techniques and an open-mindedness to sound manipulation Aaron has come up with ways to coax new sounds from both his acoustic and electric cello. It's these non-traditional musical leanings and original thought that make Aaron unique and fuel his art. For his efforts he has received several awards and accolades, a McKnight Music Fellowship Grant, studio work, and many commissions. He has recorded his own solo work as well as several albums with the eclectic bands he plays with.

"I had a conversation with Aaron about what his kids thought with all these strange musicians coming over to the house and playing late into the night. He said it's never been an issue and that they are just used to it since it's always been that way. It makes him happy to know that the music floating up from his basement provides a bed of sound for his kids to fall asleep to. It's a beautiful scene if you ask me. I'm happy to call Aaron Kerr a friend, and proud of the music we play. I've been walking down his street and knocking on his door for 10 years and I invite you to do the same."

 — Tyson Allison
Emperor Penguin Records