Musician David Stoker has loved jazz since he was a toddler.

"My earliest memories were of the Walt Disney movie 'Jungle Book,' " Stoker said. "I loved Louis Prima singing as that orangutan. It was just so cool. And from there I ventured into Henry Mancini and Herb Alpert."

But those classic musical icons weren't the only ones who guided Stoker into playing. "My dad sings and my mom plays the piano and sings. They always had some jazz going on in the house. I think I liked the way it sounded and I loved how upbeat it was. And I loved hearing the seven counts and nine counts. The rhythms really got to me."

Soon Stoker was into Paul Winter and Pat Metheny and Keith Jared. "They took music and put a lot of classical influences into them. They really put it together."

Stoker, who was born in Logan and now lives in Salt Lake City, played trumpet throughout his teens and went on to play piano in college. He wandered the western United States and even busked in the streets of Seattle playing a djembe. Those years helped mold the man he is today.

He also plays the djembe, piano and trumpet, but he plays the guitar, the bodhran, Irish flute and congas, as well.

"I have always had a goal to make a CD before I died," Stoker said with a laugh. "I wanted something to offer the world. And somehow the whole thing was made possible."

The multi-instrumentalist said that album, fittingly called "Mood Swings," isn't quite jazz and not as ambient as new age. "But I can tell you that it's all emotional. It's me expressing myself the only way I know how."

Stoker recruited local singer/songwriter Kate MacLeod, whom he got to know through taking mandolin lessons at Acoustic Music. "Everyone at Acoustic Music knew Kate, and I asked her if she wanted to do a demo with me, and she was up for it. The thing about this is, Kate is known primarily for her singing these days. But she's a great fiddle player and she was up to do that on the album."

The goal for Stoker, now, is to break even. And that's hard when the CD is only available on his Web site — www.davidstoker.com. "The recording sessions were like I was living my dream. Now I need to recoup my losses and hope anyone who buys the CD will like it."


If you go. . .

What: David Stoker, Great Avenues Street Fair

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

Where: 9th Avenue between J and M Streets

How much: Free


E-mail: scott@desnews.com