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 Dad 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 was appointed Organist/Music Director at the Caldwell United Methodist
Church in Caldwell, NJ on March 1, 2016. There he plays all services and
direct the adult, children, and handbell choirs.
is also Accompanist (piano/guitar/organ) and Choir Director at Temple
Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, NJ, where he plays at all Shabbat, High Holiday,
and other services.
He had previously
been Organist/Choir Directorat THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN WESTFIELD (NJ)
from August 2012 to January 2016. Visit https://soundcloud.com/pcwmusic
to hear choral and handbell music from that period, and Ed's organ playing.
He had also been Organist/Choir Director at CHURCH OF THE REDEEMER in
Morristown, NJ from November 2009 until July 2012; performances of Ed
and this fabulous choir are still on YouTube at www.youtube.com/redeemermorristown.
has performed with Bette Midler, Chuck Berry, Leonard Bernstein, Herbie
Hancock, Eddie Fisher, Odetta, Dion, Larry Coryell, Darlene Love, LaLa
Brooks, Ronnie Spector, Lou Rawls, Zubin Mehta, Donald Fagan/Steely Dan,
John Sebastian, Hubert Sumlin, Uncle Floyd, Levon Helm, Melanie, Chubby
Checker, Rick Derringer, Al Kooper, Stanley Jordan, Steven Van Zandt,
Marvin Hamlisch, Ben E. King, Cissy Houston, John Lloyd Young, Blood Sweat
and Tears, and other notables.
Ed is also a popular recitalist on theater organs. In 2011, he inaugurated
the First Thursdays concert series for GSTOS on the Rainbow
Room Wurlitzer at the Rahway Senior Citizens Center. He has
done concerts on that organ regularly ever since, as well as on the Wonder
Morton at Loews Jersey City and other notable instruments.
To learn more about these historic organs, visit the website for the Garden
State Theater Organ Society, at www.gstos.org.
realized a childhood dream in 2004 when he was asked to be the Weekend
(Sat/Sun) Organist at YANKEE STADIUM, where he replaced 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
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!!
In 2016 he enters his 13th season at the console, playing every Saturday
and Sunday home game.
in 2014, Ed became the Organist for the Rockland Boulders, a Can-Am league
independent baseball team playing at Palisades Credit Union Park, a beautiful
new stadium in Pomona, NY. Minor league baseball is delightful and very
reasonably priced entertainment! Ed plays most home games, and the ones
he can't do, his lovely and talented wife Maxine plays.
hosts soul music & organ music radio programs on Monday afternoons
on WFDU-FM 89.1 (www.wfdu.fm). He can be heard on the RETRO RADIO'S GOT
SOUL? program from 1~4pm, and then THE MIGHTY ORGAN (featuring, as he
calls it, 'Mid-Century Pop and Theater Organ' music) from 4~5pm online
on Mondays. Programs are archived online for two weeks from the date they
Ed's Broadway experience includes a 3-month stint as Interim Associate
Conductor on 'Hairspray' (where he subbed the Key 2 chair regularly),
as well as the original run of '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.
Ed spent many years at Casio Inc. in Dover, NJ where he was the Product
Manager and Chief Evangelist and Guru for the Keyboard Division. 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. He subsequently worked in the Music Products Industry in Marketing
and Sales positions for Music Industries Corp, Right Track Marketing,
Music Distributors Group, and Gemini DJ.
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.
performs regularly in some other very diverse contexts, outlined in the
Events area of this site.
Ed has recorded four
CDs of this own to date:
The Harmonious Five -
Wanna Hear You Say 'Yeah' (Haywire
004) - VINTAGE
Ed Alstrom (guitay, vocals); Dave Ketes (piano, vocals); Mark Berger
(bass, vocals) Frank Pagano (drums vocals).
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.
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.
Wanna get these? Drop me an e-mail at the contact link...