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Bruce Haack

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Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada (1931 – 1988)

From Alberta to New York (1931-1988)

Bruce Haack started picking out melodies on his family’s piano at age four; by age 12, he gave piano lessons and played piano with the Swing Tones while attending the University of Alberta. The Swing Tones were a popular local band based out of Edmonton, Alberta, and they played in venues in the city and surrounding area. The band played primarily modern and old-time music, and they introduced him to Eastern musical motifs and themes, as they played quite a bit of Ukrainian folk music. While with The Swing Tones, Bruck Haack was known for his uncanny ability to hear music and then play it back immediately from memory, and he could compose innovative riffs while the band was on break during a job. His talent was legendary, and he owned a tremendous record collection of music from around the world prior to moving to New York. In later years, Haack’s painting of St. Basil likely is reminiscent of his earlier years with The Swing Tones in Edmonton.
Haack was also invited by Native Americans to participate in their pow-wows, experimenting with Peyote, which influenced his music for years to come. His upbringing in the isolated town of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada, gave him plenty of time to develop his musical talents.

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