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Jasper began his musical career as a classical guitarist studying through the Suzuki  Method with Sarah (Reetz) Jensen as his teacher.    Group class were mandatory and so he was in a lesson twice a week and began playing “gigs” with Sarah’s Suzuki Guitar Ensemble right away.  He attended Suzuki Guitar Institute in Brandon Manitoba 2 years in a row and had the privilege of having Andrea Cannon of Spring Texas as an instructor.
Because Sarah Jensen went into early retirement, (new husband, new home, new job & new baby,) Jasper made the switch from Classical guitar to Rhythm guitar and his new group became the family string trio.  Classical Guitar training served him well as he could use classical techniques to develop acoustic guitar leads.    One of the neat things he was able to do with his guitar learning was to pass it on.  He had his cousin, Madison Lorentzen, playing in no time.  A high-light of his teaching year was attending the International Peace Garden Guitar Workshop with Adam Granger of Prairie Home Companion.  (It was his 2nd year with Adam Granger and thanks to Jasper, Madison’s first.)  From that point on Jasper attended concerts that fueled his enthusiasm for Bluegrass Music and sought out rhythm guitar clinicians at the Cross Ranch in ND, among the bands were Chris Stuart and Back Country, Monroe Crossing & Cedar Hill.   

It was at the jam sessions, (Cross Ranch and Gateway Mall, hosted by the Bluegrass and Old-time Music Association of ND) that Jasper began picking up the bass, which is now his primary instrument.  The local players were the best and he has many great memories of the Missouri River Boys, Cottonwood & Moose Creek.   Because of his Suzuki ear-training the bass came naturally.  He has been basically self-taught with the exception of a Bluegrass clinic at Bismarck State College where Blue Moon Rising of Tennessee was doing the instruction.   “Old Hat” was born, beginning with fund-raising, banquet and holiday gigs.  Jasper has had the honor of playing at the ND Capital, Heritage Center and Bismarck’s Bluegrass Festival.  Before moving out of state the Dakota West Arts Council did a 30 minute   documentary on Old Hat and it aired on their community access television station weekly.  Since moving to Indiana he has continued performing and recorded one CD with OLD Hat; Old Hat Retro.  Another CD focusing on gospel music is in the works.  To get an idea of what kind of venue’s have been played go to Old Hat Schedule to find out.

Jasper by our lake