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Valley musician Jerry Wessling talks about his latest endeavors | Entertainment and celebrity news

Valley musician Jerry Wessling recently discussed his latest ventures into the local music scene.

Wessling recently got a brand new opportunity to perform for Rodeo Alaska over Memorial Day weekend.

“So this will be my first rodeo,” Wessling said with a laugh.

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Wessling also had the opportunity to perform alongside the Ken Peltier Band during the event. He said it was fun to prepare for this show because he dipped into the country music genre for the first time.

“We had this great meeting and we were like, ‘man, let’s make a great group’ and that’s what we did. We’ve just blown it since, and it’s taken a great couple of months to put it together. said Wessling.

Wessling has been playing music across Alaska for many years. He works as a middle school math teacher, so his summer schedule is jam-packed with performances at venues like Palmer Ale House, Tailgaters, and Friday Fling.

“Summer is when it gets pretty intense. I have fun. I have a good time,” Wessling said.

Wessling said his favorite part of being involved in the Alaskan music scene has always been the people.

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“I love playing music with my friends,” Wessling said. “It’s just what I do. I’m a supper passionate about it.

Alaska’s most iconic singer and songwriter, James Varsos, better known as Hobo Jim, died in October 2021. Wessling said he opened for him during his last performance at the Alaska State Fair . He said Varsos left an irreplaceable and incredibly positive impact on the hearts and minds of Alaskans that will stand the test of time.

“He wrote songs about what Alaska is,” Wessling said.

Wessling noted that Peltier inherited the song rights from Varsos and truly believes he is the perfect person to help maintain the Alaskan Balladeer legacy for years to come.

“Ken Peltier carries on that tradition, and I think it’s important to keep that tradition going as an Alaskan,” Wessling said.

Wessling said it’s been encouraging to see the music scene come back to life after so many closures and canceled events throughout the pandemic, but there’s still an underlying need. He said there needed to be even more venues for local singer-songwriters to hone their skills.

“We need to have more working groups in the music community,” Wessling said.