Jaress was born in Hawaii as a baby.
He started toying around with the piano at age 7. Even at a young age, he was able to pick out a melody that he had heard before.
Jaress' dad is a professional jazz guitarist in Hawaii and his great aunt is a professional jazz pianist. His father knew that he had a good ear and a good voice early on, so he started playing guitar and having Jaress sing songs. The first song he ever learned was "More Than Words" by Extreme.
Jaress was accepted into the prestigious Honolulu Boy's Choir when he was 8. There, he learned how to sing in multiple part harmonies and how to "carry his own."
Jaress moved to California just before his 10th birthday and continued with his musical endeavors. He started by getting involved in his elementary school choir, but was unimpressed with the lack of difficulty of the song selections. He decided to "take up" the violin in 5th grade thinking that no one really played it...Later on in life, he came to realize that an Asian playing the violin was actually ridiculously cliche. Sad day.
He continued playing the violin and started to get more involved in music throughout Jr. High. In 8th grade, he held the position of Concertmaster for the school year and also discovered an interest in guitar.
In high school, he decided to give choir another shot. It very quickly became his new hobby. While applying his musical reading abilities to reading choir music, he grew to be the men's section leader by his Junior year.
While participating in choir on a daily basis, he started to grow very fond of the piano. Every day before choir, he would come into the choir room and play around on the baby grand. He slowly grew more and more familiar with the instrument until one summer, he decided that he wanted to learn how to play the piano for real. At the end of his Sophomore year, his choir director allowed him to borrow a keyboard for the summer that belonged to the school. At this time, he knew what classical song he wanted to learn how to play, but still did not know how to read piano music.
During the summer of 2001, he learned "Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum" by Debussy, but not before teaching himself how to read the bass clef. It took him 3 months to learn how to play one song, but the entire summer was a good use of his time.
He continued playing violin throughout high school and a for the first few years in college. In high school, he started to develop a strong passion for a capella music and started to become very involved in arranging music for barbershop quartets and a capella choirs. His arrangement of "The Star Spangled Banner" earned the respect of a few local choir directors - one of which asked to use it for his choir as their standard arrangement.
His new found love for arranging music led to writing classical music for the violin and small ensembles. His piece, "The Gypsy's Thoughts," a violin concerto accompanied by a string orchestra, was performed by members of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra at a young composers concert. By this time, he was 19.
Aside from writing and arranging music for both small a capella groups and large symphonies, he still kept to his passion for choir. In his freshman year in college, he toured Costa Rica with his college choir and came back as the men's section leader for both tenor and bass voice parts by his Sophomore year. He remained the section leader throughout the rest of his time at the junior college level and even one year into his four year studies on a different campus, while he toured Costa Rica a second time with the same choir.
During this time in choir, and still practicing guitar and piano, he came to be the worship leader for a church in Bakersfield called "Cornerstone," who has since changed their name to "Misio Dei." He led worship for Cornerstone Church for approximately a year and then he stepped down due to personal reasons.
Up until this time in his life, Jaress had had very little contact with his father, who lived in Hawaii. They would exchange email and talk on the phone every so often, but it was definitely not your typical father-son relationship. One day in October of 2005, Jaress' father randomly came to Bakersfield due to a free trip that he won on the Islands. On this trip, Jaress talked a lot with his dad and also did a lot of playing music. This is where his passion for jazz was born. Jaress sat in amazement watching his father play jazz guitar: chording, walking bass lines, and soloing all at the same time!
Upon stepping down from leading the church worship, a new worship leader came in named Paul Cierly. Paul is a very well known jazz guitarist in Bakersfield and Jaress had the chance to work with him on a number of occasions for both the church and also gigging around town.
It was playing with Paul and the worship team that allowed him to continue pursing his love for jazz music. For another 4 years, Jaress played jazz guitar and piano, making a few trips to Hawaii per year to hang out with his dad and family and to learn more about jazz.
Today, Jaress is the worship leader for Olive Branch Community Church in Bakersfield. He also is an active player in the jazz community in Bakersfield and he and his wife, Lauren, have just recorded their first jazz CD! His main focus is on jazz piano, but as you can see from his videos, he still loves playing the guitar as well.
I'm a guy who started out in development in the IT world and have since moved up the management career path. I still do a lot of development in my own time, so I wouldn't say that I'm completely out of practice...
Anyway, I created this blog, which was originally at techblog.jaressloo.com, in order to help people understand technology.
With development, most of my focus is on Microsoft technologies like ASP.NET, Visual Studio, and SQL Server. However, I will also tend to write up posts on other miscellaneous type tech stuff as well.
If you like technology and programming using Microsoft "stuff," then this blog is for you!