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Bryan Aaker

HQ Phone: (612) 338-2674

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Cedar Cultural Center

416 Cedar Ave s

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454

United States

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Background Information

Web References (14 Total References)

photo Bryan Aaker, ... [cached]

photo Bryan Aaker, courtesy Cedar Cultural Center

photo Bryan Aaker, ... [cached]

photo Bryan Aaker, courtesy Cedar Cultural Center

Bryan Aaker says he ... [cached]

Bryan Aaker says he has shot "pretty much every show" at the Cedar Cultural Center since June of 2005.

It was back in his garage band days at Anthony Middle School that Bryan Aaker decided as much as he loved music, he wasn't destined to be one of the guys on stage.
"I decided early on that I didn't want to know how music worked from the perspective of being a musician," Aaker said."I wanted to perfect the listening part of it.I've been trying to get there for many years."
A couple of years ago, Aaker got into the equivalent of graduate school for serious listeners.Since 2005, the Kenny resident has been staff photographer at the Cedar Cultural Center, one of the Twin Cities' great music institutions.
Head to almost any concert at the Cedar Cultural Center and you might see him, the guy with the longish gray hair and moustache hanging out at the back of the crowd, snapping photos.
He was there in April when Konono Number One arrived from the Congo and back the next night for Frigg, a Scandinavian string band.At the Cedar, it's free jazz one night and quiet folk music the next, and Aaker sees it all.
"I've shot pretty much every show there since June of '05," he said.
For Aaker, 55, the volunteer gig at the Cedar isn't just a chance to take in a bunch of free shows; it's also physical and emotional therapy.
More than 20 years after a spinal injury, Aaker must control near-constant pain with medication.For a few hours a night at the Cedar, he said, it's easier to cope.
"I think there's endorphins at work every time I pick up my camera at the Cedar," he said.
Aaker traveled to bars and clubs around the Twin Cities to update the music on his company's machines.He also swapped out old and broken jukeboxes, a job that required some heavy lifting, like moving pool tables to clear a path to the door.
"I just bent over wrong one day," he said, and that was it.Career over.
On weekends, Aaker was an event photographer, shooting weddings and bar mitzvahs.
In 2005, the couple returned to Minneapolis, eventually settling in Kenny, Aaker's childhood home.Around the same time, the back pain supposedly cured by his long-ago surgeries returned.The pain was debilitating, he said.
Aaker, feeling frustrated, explained the situation one day to Bill Kubeczko, the Cedar's artistic director.
Aaker said he typically shoots several hundred pictures during one performance.If eight or 10 of those meet his standards, it's a good night, he said.
Every once in a while, one of those pictures will be something special.But it's hard for Aaker to explain what happens.
"It's got nothing to do with me or the camera," he said.
"I just thought her hands were so beautiful on top of that accordion," Aaker added.
For Aaker, it was just a simple conversation with a fellow music lover that made all the difference.
"That's all it takes, is for someone to give you an opportunity to try something new, and it can open up a whole world for you," he said."Even at the age of 55."

2006 uk tour photos [cached]

2007 Jubilee CD Release Party (all photos from The Cedar Cultural Center - shot by Bryan Aaker)

Scottish Traditional Music and Song, harps, bagpipes and fiddles from celtic bands and musicians [cached]

This photo of Alasdair was taken by Bryan Aaker, the photographer at the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis - cheers Bryan.

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