Jake Pavek's music is hitting the airwaves
Jake Pavek started playing the bass when he was twelve, because his friends wanted him to. They thought he would be good at it since his father Tom was the bassist for the band the Hee Bee Gee Bees.
“Up until that point I had just listened to music,” said Pavek. “I got more into playing guitar and song writing. Once I got into song writing it really took off.” That was when he was 14 and 15 and in a band called In-Transit.
“We performed all originals I wrote,” said Pavek. “At this time I mimicked the best I could, the music I was interested in.” In-Transit changed its name to A Piano in Every Home while Pavek was a junior at Hudson High School, the same year he joined the choir.
“I’d sneak off into the choir room and start playing the piano,” said Pavek. “Knowing the guitar and other instruments helped. I played them by ear as well. Mr. Haase was really a mentor.”
“I wrote my first choir piece when I was a senior,” said Pavek. “It was my first classical composition and the last day of school Mr. Haase had the choir run the piece and recorded it for me. He sent me a copy for my portfolio.”
Pavek headed off to UW-River Falls to study music composition.
“There I had my first dose of music theory,” said Pavek. “It is math and music, where things come together and make sense.”
During college he did an independent study for three months in Berlin and joined the group Taj Raj. He graduated in 2012 and soon afterward recorded his first CD.
“Things started to click,” said Pavek who decided to record the piano compositions he’d written in college. The result was the classical piano album “Bloom” which was released in December of 2012. He is joined by cellist Katherine A. An on the album. The San Jose Orchestra played a couple of pieces off of “Bloom” in concert. Pavek flew to California and watched the performance.
“A lot goes into making a CD,” said Pavek. “After it is recorded, it is engineered, mixed and mastered. The key is mainly knowing when the album is finished and leaving it alone, then comes the promotion and release date.”
Creating the album “Bloom” provided Pavek with the momentum to continue with other albums.
“While I was finishing “Bloom” Taj Raj started recording their album in my North Hudson basement,” said Pavek. The four member band is considered alternative country. The album “Fine Hearts Alive” was released in June of 2013.
Pavek did all of the arranging for the album and played piano and mandolin for the recording. Taj Raj was listed as one of the Top Ten New Best Artists for 2013 by the Current, 89.3 FM. The award is based on end of the year polling nationwide and the results were announced on December 30.
“We also played in the studio at the Current,” said Pavek. “We are writing our new album and will be recording it soon.” Taj Raj plays at venues throughout the Twin Cities and occasionally in Milwaukee and Madison. On Dec. 5, 2013, Taj Raj earned acclaim when they were named as one of the top ten Minnesota Music Videos of the Week.
In the meantime, Pavek, together with his longtime friend and musically collaborator Travis Erickson, decided it was time for A Piano in Every Home to put out an album as well.
The recording process started in February 2013 and ended in June of 2013. Off the duo went to explore Southeast Asia, traveling with fellow HHS grad Colin Courtney, who presently lives in New Zealand. They traveled to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. All the while, they were receiving demo mixes of the cuts on the album.
“We are on a slow boat on the Mekong River, being in a whole different world,” said Pavek. “We got inspiration from this, just by listening to them (the demos) in a different way.”
It was mixed, mastered and the publicity push started in October and November.
“I made a music video to the first song on the album,” said Pavek, who carried a mini-video camera with him on the trip. The clips combined with the music were well received.
Dec. 20, Erickson and Pavek celebrated with a CD release party at the Uptown eatery the Ice House in Minneapolis.
“We are letting this album get its own life,” said Pavek. “It is new for us as a duo, even though we have played together for 12 years.”
In the meantime, Pavek will finish writing the pieces for his next classical piano CD.
While balancing his classical interest as Jacob and his alternative country persona as Jake, the musically talented Pavek, hopes the future may continue to offers new opportunities and maybe a reason to quit his day job.