Jai Lasker is a performing guitarist and educator specializing in various forms of improvisatory music including Jazz, Blues, Rock, and Free Form Music. Originally seeking a creative outlet, Jai began their musical journey at the age of 10; as they continued to explore various genres and artists, they began to see music and the guitar as a means to connect them to their cultural roots and history. Currently, Jai is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz and Improvised Music at the University of Washington in Seattle, studying with multi-Grammy-winning artists Cuong Vu and Steve Rodby as well as internationally renowned musicians Ted Poor and Marc Seales.
As soon as they were able, Jai joined the middle school jazz band and quickly found a voice on the guitar that gave them the opportunity to join numerous award-winning ensembles that performed on a local, regional, and national level. Throughout their high school years, Jai was a member of the rhythm sections for Edmonds-Woodway High School’s top jazz band, the EWHS Mello-Aires jazz choir, Seattle JazzED Ellington Ensemble, and numerous independent small ensembles; participating in these groups allowed Jai to perform throughout the United States in events such as the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho, the Jazz Education Conference in New Orleans, the Essentially Ellington competition in New York, and plenty of regional music festivals and competitions within Washington State. The friends made through these experiences exposed Jai to the infinite pathways people can take to find success and fulfillment in music, and that awareness is something they bring with them to every lesson.
One of the most important responsibilities of a professional musician is to find ways to pass on the knowledge that they have gained to the next generation of up-and-coming players. Some teach students directly, some produce art of such a high standard that it is studied for years to come, and others are somewhere in between. Jai seeks to both create powerful art and play an active role in fostering a passion and appreciation for music of all kinds throughout their career; teaching at Lessons in Your Home is one of the ways that they are working towards mastering the second portion of that goal.
A key strategy that Jai finds success with as a teacher is finding and fostering parallel passions. In addition to music, they also love film, cooking, and all types of games. What they find is that, for them, these passions enhance one another: the emotional impact of the score of a movie or video game increases when you can describe the sounds you’re hearing; cooking a meal or playing a game of pool is more relaxing when you are listening to a favorite recording; listening to your favorite musician is better with a bowl of ice cream. Jai has found that finding these interactions with their students not only gets them excited about music, but excited about life. Their goal as a teacher is to find ways for music to enhance the life that their students are already living.