More California dreamin’ is in store for Rémi Moulder. After the pandemic drove the young guitarist out of the West Coast, he decided to return to Rochester to continue his online studies at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley.
But there’s a silver lining, Moulder said.
“While I miss playing music with others at school, since Minnesota was not hit so hard with the pandemic, I have had more opportunities to play music with others,” he said.
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Moulder is also working on a solo act, and he’ll be bringing it to Café Steam on South Broadway this Saturday, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The outdoor, distanced show will give Moulder a chance to show off some of his vocals and guitar looping while he plays a mixture of originals and covers ranging from jazz standards to country and pop. Listen for hits by John Mayer, Chris Stapleton, Robert Johnson and Jimi Hendrix.
Before he went to the West Coast to study jazz, Moulder played with a young jazz group in Rochester called Project Substitute. More recently, he’s filled in for a few country acts in the region, like Branded: Hot Country and Redemption Road. Pre-pandemic, he toured California with country-rockers The Brodie Stewart Band.
“Really, the pandemic forced me to head down this [solo] route,” he said. “I noticed while full band shows were non-existent, many of my friends turned to doing acoustic shows, so I thought I should try doing the same.”
Moulder is also strengthening his vocal stamina for longer shows, which will benefit the original project he’s launching with drummer Ryan Glick and bassist Niels Sorensen. This project will use original music Moulder’s been writing.
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“One of the things I really wanted to do this year was start writing my own music,” he said. “I have been using the mass amount of free time to really dive into writing songs. I have taken inspiration mostly from singer-songwriters like John Mayer and Ed Sheeran.”
Moulder says the lunchtime show at Café Steam is bringing him back to a place he knows well.
“I have always known Steam to be a major supporter of local music and art, and I played music there before I moved for college,” he said.
If you miss Moulder at Café Steam this weekend, or the weather doesn’t cooperate with the outdoor show, you can see him play at St. James Coffee on Oct. 3 from 4 to 6 p.m. or check out other shows he hopes to book on his social media accounts with the handle @remiguitarmoulder.
“I think we all really miss having live music,” he said. “I am hoping to create the same fun and energy-filled show you would see in normal circumstances.”
If you go
What: Rémi Moulder
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26
Where: Café Steam, 315 S. Broadway, Rochester