Monday, May 6, 2013

Did You Know: Cole Gramling, keyboards/vocals

Cole playing the keys at Lucy's in Austin, TX.
(Credit to Jess & the Echoes Facebook page)
Cole Gramling can be seen on the stage having a blast with his comrades during a show. He adds a key dimension to the band through his funky and catchy solos on the keyboards. But did you know there was a time when Cole did not like the playing the piano too much?

"My mom made me take lessons from the 2nd-6th grade," Gramling said. "I complained like crazy. It wasn't even that hard, I was just lazy and didn't like to practice."

Now with the band's future looking ever so bright, Cole has taking a special liking to his talents. He started falling for his current passion while in junior high school as he played with the youth band at church. You might know the lead singer of that youth band: Jess Kellner.

"I started loving (playing the piano) when I found out I could play something that wasn't on the page, following chord charts and even trying to figure out songs just by playing them. (The youth band) is a great place to learn to play with other people and play by ear."

After graduating from high school in 2008, Cole was inspired by the music scene of Austin and moved to the live music capital of the world with hopes of joining a band where he could show off his talents. He was also taking music classes at the University of Texas where he found it was difficult to balance the two.

"I found a band my freshman year and played in it a while," Gramling said. "It was fun and the guys were great but I got busy with school and studying piano at UT and didn't really feel the band was going anywhere.I'm still thankful I got to take lessons and jazz theory classes at UT."

Luckily before his time at Texas was finished, Jess & the Echoes was born and Cole was able to put his ambitions and talents to the test.

"I always loved playing music with original artists, playing in bars and places where music could really get creative," Gramling said. "I wondered how it would all work out. Luckily Jess & the Echoes started up just a few months before I graduated, so it was perfect timing."

"Through (Jess & the Echoes), piano has been making me some money, so now I have to take it seriously! It's a part-time job! Haha."

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