Merje Kägu

Merje Kagu, a composer and guitarist from Parnu Estonia, now lives in Gothenburg. Peeter Prints was her teacher and she started classical guitar lessons at age 8. She discovered a whole new world of musical colors that she had not known. While the primary focus was on classical music, it was encouraged that she could improvise and make her own music. This nurtured her passion for music and gave her a deeper connection to a variety of sounds. At the age of 16, Marek Talts began teaching her jazz guitar. These classes were a great way to learn about jazz music history and how to play it. They also taught her the basics of musicianship. After graduating from high school, she moved to Tallinn, Estonia, to study music. Mart Soo, at Georg Otsa Music College was her first teacher. Jaak Sooaar then guided her to jazz studies at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. She moved to Denmark to study at The Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Southern Denmark because she wanted to learn more about her instrument and Scandinavian improvised musical styles. Marc Bernstein, Asger Jacoby, Thor Madsen and Marc Ducret, all saxophonists, gave her enlightening and eye-opening lessons. They also taught her how to compose and arrange. Merje completed a successful year in Denmark and then moved to Sweden’s Gothenburg University’s Academy of Music and Drama, where she received a master’s in improvisation performance. Merje’s interest in crossover projects grew here. The Gothenburg music scene was the ideal place for her to perform original music and learn more about her musical language. Merje worked with Norwegian musicians during her studies in Gothenburg. This allowed her to meet new musicians and gave her the opportunity to discover beautiful music. Merje went on to study composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music. She was taught composition for small and large ensembles, in both jazz and classical music contexts by Kjell Habbestad and Bente Leiknes Norsen.

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