Cameron Weckerley's professional piano career can be traced back as far as childhood lessons, received at Gutcher's Music, in downtown Bakersfield, CA, way upstairs in a hidden, little loft. The road to where he is today is a story with some interesting highlights along the way.
The late 1970's were Weckerley's high School years. Although he had been trained on percussion and horn from late elementary to early high school, his attention and focus in the final years of the 70's was avoiding school and practicing electric guitar in heavy metal bands. His career as a heavy metal guitarist got cut short when he was fired from his own band. As time heals old wounds, most of the old band, called Magnum, have reconnected through social media and rekindled their old friendships.
The bruised ego and frustration of that experience sent him off along a new path. He wanted to understand whatever musical mystery he could not seem to wrap his head around during that time so he immediately began in earnest to study piano at Bakersfield College; quickly learning to play in a big band effectively.
After playing at his own graduation, Weckerley began learning jazz, theory, and small group studies at California State University, Bakersfield, (CSUB) with Dr. Doug Davis.
During the mid, to late 1980's, the regional music business was booming. Thus, f was relatively easy for just about anyone with a decent level of playing to work in a band five to six nights a week and make a regular living. Even though he maintained an on again, off again relationship with the jazz department at CSUB, if was mostly off as Weckerley played with popular metal bands. While playing with the increasingly popular band, After Shock, a tidal wave of events tore the band apart. Sadly, the band was on the cusp of making the leap to the national level.
In the early 1990's, after a brief period to recover from these events, Weckerley went to live with relatives in order to finish his music education degree, in earnest, at Olivet College, in Michigan. The studies went well during this period, as did the jazz. During the three year sojourn in Michigan, he played extensively with vocalist/bassist ,Richard Nelson, and frequently haunted the stage at Western Michigan University's popular Bilbo's Tavern, as well as many other gigs in the Battle Creek/Kalamazoo area.
Due to exemplary scholarship and more than a bit of luck, Weckerley was offered a teaching assistantship at Truman State University, in Missouri, where he completed a Master's degree in music theory/composition while teaching music appreciation and jazz history to freshman students.
After earning his Master's degree, with honors, California called and within days after arriving, he was teaching class piano and music technology at Bakersfield College. Weckerley, also, began working at the court and community high school as part of their media arts team.
During the decade of employment at Kern County Court School he, also enjoyed a long and fruitful musical relationship, playing with the Tejano/Funk band, Prisoners of Love.
In 2008, Weckerley and his wife pulled up roots from central California for a three year stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe had its own flavor for music and he gradually made connections with members of the local jazz scene. He played keyboard with the Jerry Becker Quartet.
Family issues in Bakersfield took Weckerley back to California, where he taught private piano lessons and reconnected with band mates of Prisoners of Love, for another two year run.