Kaiser Solzie: Pulling Back the Mask and Promoting Honesty in Musicianship

>> James Jackson a.k.a. Kaiser Solzie is a punk-influenced street musician from Rochester, New York. Since 2010 he has been traveling around the country performing just about anywhere; homemade sets, basement shows, street corners, and even Warped tour. His music finds its way home in all of these spaces not only because of his lightweight simplistic acoustic setup but because his sound lands on a diverse ground. The punk influence in Kaiser's music is immediately discernable, but between the lines, one cannot help but find a person. The strength and the class that binds his musical project together is leavened by a vulnerability that draws from his experience as a member of the houseless community in the chapters of his life leading into his musical career.

"In between Warped Tours, I was chronically homeless...I had always been homeless but I never really paid attention to it" He went on to describe how a serendipitous connection with an associate in social services helped get him off the street. As a means of giving back, he assumed the role of an advocate, helping others in the community to get off the street as well.

As a proud Rochester native, Kaiser waxed about his love of the city and his desire to be remembered as one of those guys who wanted to make Rochester better: “The motivation for me is really just seeing people succeed. A lot of people have debated what my next moves are in this city, and I'm kind of committed to it. At least, when I'm seventy years old, I want to be remembered as one of those George Eastman guys that tried to help Rochester.”

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