Alstrom grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Started playing organ at age
5, guitar and bass as a teenager. Didn't acquire a piano in the Alstrom
household until he was 12, at which time his father brought home an old
pedal-pump player piano, on which he activated the broken player mechanism
by connecting a canister vacuum cleaner and running it in reverse, which
caused the piano rolls to play at blinding speed. Young Alstrom found
this highly entertaining.
in the requisite rock bands through high school, but also studied church
organ and dabbled in every other conceivable type of music. He attended
Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and escaped with a B.M. in
Organ Performance, despite playing in disco lounges nearly every night.
Ed has been Music Director/Organist at CENTRAL
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH in Montclair, NJ since September 2016, and can be
heard there at most Sunday morning services at 10:00am. Performances of
the choir and Ed are on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/user-555518888.
He has played at several other churches in Northern New Jersey as well
over the years.
He has been Accompanist (piano/guitar/organ) and Choir Director at Temple
Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, NJ since 2010, where he plays at all Shabbat and High Holiday
He is the Music Teacher at Essex Valley School in West Caldwell, NJ;
and the Choir Accompanist/Theater Musical Director at Ridge High School
in Basking Ridge, NJ.
has performed with Bette Midler, Chuck Berry, Leonard Bernstein, Herbie
Hancock, Eddie Fisher, Odetta, Dion, Larry Coryell, Blood Sweat and Tears,
Darlene Love, LaLa Brooks, Ronnie Spector, Lou Rawls, Zubin Mehta, Donald
Fagan, John Sebastian, Hubert Sumlin, Uncle Floyd, Al Kooper, Stanley
Jordan, Steven Van Zandt, Ben E. King, Cissy Houston, John Lloyd Young
(star of 'Jersey Boys' on Broadway), and many other notables.
His Broadway experience includes a 3-month stint as Interim Associate
Conductor on 'Hairspray' (where he subbed the Key 2 chair regularly),
as well as 'Leader Of The Pack (The Ellie Greenwich Musical'), 'Catch
Me If You Can', 'Smokey Joe's Cafe', 'Taboo', 'Brooklyn', and 'Hot Feet'.
Off-Broadway, he has been Musical Director for 'Give A Man A Mask' at
the York Theatre in NYC in November of 2011; 'Once Around The Sun' at
the Zipper Theater in 2005; 'Dream A Little Dream (The Mamas & Papas
Musical)', which ran from May-August 2003; and played the Piano/Keyboard
chair for 'Caroline, or Change', the Tony Kushner-Jeanine Tesori musical
that ran at the Public Theater in NYC in 2004.
Alstrom realized a childhood dream in 2004 when he was asked to be the
weekend (Sat/Sun) Organist at YANKEE STADIUM, where he filled the seat
at the mighty Hammond Colonnade (now an Elegante) formerly occupied by the great Eddie Layton,
who retired after a 37-year stint. From the time he was 9 years old and
his father took him to his first Yankee game against the Washington Senators
which Frank Howard hit a galvanic 500+ ft. home run to cavernous left
center off Bill Monboquette, if I recall),
young Alstrom heard that organ at the Stadium and said, "I wanna
do THAT". He never dreamed he'd actually get to do it!!
He also played games for the ROCKLAND BOULDERS baseball team of Pomona,
NY (Can-Am Independent League) from 2014-2016, and has been playing
some games for the NEW JERSEY JACKALS of Montlcair NJ for the past two
Ed was at
Casio Inc. in Dover, NJ, where he was the Product/Marketing Manager for
the Keyboard Division for the better part of 16 years. He had design input
with Casio's R&D in Japan with the musical instruments, and composed
and arranged a lot of the music that went into them for many years.
That Trine Door Chime you have may have also been programmed by Alstrom.
He has also done product demonstrations on QVC and HSN for Casio and Yamaha
keyboards, and Ion and Silvertone guitars; and has done product reviews
for Keyboard Magazine.
Ed has been performing on local theater organs as well, under the
auspices of the GSTOS (Garden State Theater Organ Society). He was the
first person to give a concert on the restored 1934 RAINBOW ROOM
WURLITZER at Rahway Senior Center in 2012, and does so semi-regularly,
as well as the 'Wonder Morton' organ at the Loew's Theater in Jersey
He is also
performing regularly in some other very diverse contexts, outlined in
the Events area of this site.
Ed has recorded four
CDs of his own to date:
The Harmonious Five -
'Wanna Hear You Say Yeah'
Ed Alstrom (gtr/vcls); Dave KJeyes (pno/vcls); Mark Berger (bass/vcls);
Frank Pagano (dr/vcls)
Ed's first CD featuring him on Hammond Organ
Ed Alstrom (organ, vocals); Charlie Jones (guitar); Don Guinta (drums).
Personnel: Ed Alstrom (piano, vocals); Jeff Ganz (bass);
Don Guinta (drums).
I hate to use the words "Award-Winning".
but Acid Cabaret actually was! This group attacked the NY Cabaret circuit
in 2002-03, and was very favorably reviewed (see the PRESS area of this
site), and Alstrom garnered the prestigious Backstage Bistro
award and an ASCAP Songwriter Award for this venture.
- If You Give Me
Your Attention (William S. Gilbert - Sir Arthur Sullivan) - Music
- Woman Trouble
(Alvin Lee) - Music Clip
- Acid Cabaret
(Ed Alstrom) - Music Clip
- Everything I've
Got (Richard Rodgers - Lorenz Hart)
- On The Street
Where You Live (Alan Jay Lerner - Frederick Loewe) - Music
- This Nearly Was
Mine (Richard Rodgers - Oscar Hammerstein)
- Still Of The
Night (Joe Sharone) - Music Clip
- Tight Woman (Joseph
Pleasant, aka Cousin Joe)
- Trapped In A
Good Marriage (Ed Alstrom)
- Falling Leaves
(Frankie Carle - Mack David)
- Stupid Day (Ed
- Had You Told
It Like It Was (Gene Redd - Sonny Thompson)
- Theme From An
Imaginary Western (Jack Bruce - Peter Brown)
- Azalea (Duke
- People Gonna
Talk (William Wheeler - Lee Dorsey - Morris Levy - Clarence L. Lewis)
- Somewhere In
America (David Was - Don Was)
- My Mumblin'
Baby (Ridu Green)
Ed Alstrom - The Record People Are Coming (Haywire 001)
Ed Alstrom (piano, vocals); Chris Meyers (bass); Frank Pagano (drums)
The "Acid Cabaret"
concept in its infancy, circa 1996. Comprised mostly of Alstrom originals,
plus covers of songs by Duke Ellington, and Percy Mayfield. A bit ahead
of its time (a nice way of saying it was too obtuse, personal, and overboard
for most listeners), it holds up nicely today as a fascinating curio,
and the breeding ground from whence Acid Cabaret sprung.
Whore; Trapped In A Good Marriage; Stupid Day; Solitude; The Record
People Are Coming; 8-Ball Motel; Fully Cured Romantic; Prayer; Buley's
Formula Hotel Del Centro; Burning Embers; I Made It Just The Same; I'll
Wanna get these? Drop me an e-mail at the contact link...