We’re here again
After a slow season, we’ve returned, stronger, closer, and happier than ever. With two new members, our sound and style is broader but carries the same undertone of joy. And music isn’t the only thing that gives us joy. The source of our happiness is Jesus, which spills over into the harmony we experience as family.
“O, sing unto the Lord a new song, for He hath done marvelous things.”
Easy smiles and happy tones, The Alzen Family shares tight harmonies, fast picking, and contagious joy across the Midwest. Joy drives the band’s rhythm as they make upbeat, gospel-centered music.
The band started in 2005, inspired by good ole’ bluegrass music at the Minnesota State Fair. Composed of Brad and his wife Denise, their daughters AnaLise and Tessa, Barak (AnaLise’s husband) and Justin (Tessa’s fiancé), the family is back after a slow season with passion about the hope of Jesus. “Anything good in me is only because of Christ’s righteousness and not my own,” says AnaLise, the band’s high tenor and mandolin player.
Silver Dollar City
Lake Itasca Family Music Festival
AnaLise and Tessa’s sweet blend is the hallmark of the family sound. The sisters are talented instrumentalists, known for twin fiddling and livening concerts with their “Dueling Banjos.” “I love closing my eyes and worshiping through music…creating new song arrangements and melodies,” says Tessa, who sings alto. “I’m somewhat of a musical leader in directing vocal harmonies and figuring out chords.” She then adds with a smile, “I’m a little too stubborn though when I think something should be changed.” Skillfully leading the band through programs, Brad humors audiences with his wit and adds strong vocals and varied instrumentation. Denise gives visual dimension to songs with expressive sign language and also plays harmonica and bodhran. The group’s newest members, Barak and Justin, complete the vocal depth and steady musicianship.
The Alzen Family sings traditional hymns and bluegrass standards, but also explores fun and cultural songs. Their fun, casual personalities create a warm atmosphere at concerts. Along with lighthearted comedy, they take time to tell personal stories and testimonies. “It is very fulfilling to see unity in our family as they sing and play musical instruments unto the Lord with gladness,” says Denise. The Alzen Family plays at churches, community events, private gatherings, fairs, senior homes, and festivals. Book your event →
Caring, funny, hardworking
Lead, tenor and baritone harmonies •
UPRIGHT BASS, GUITAR, MUSICAL SAW
Brad juggles (literally). He also juggles numbers (he’s an accountant), but, last we knew, doesn’t juggle instruments. He sticks to one at a time: upright bass, guitar, and the musical saw. More creative than anal-retentive, he likes to make people laugh and handles the band’s emcee work. His other lesser-known abilities include cross-country skiing, golfing, and fishing. He loves to travel with his sweetheart, Denise, with favorite vacation places tying between Hawaii, Alaska, and (fishing) in Canada.
Caring, adventuresome, productive
Lead vocals • Harmonica, Bodhran
Adventure and abundance—Denise finds both whether in another continent (she’s been in five!) or in her garden. She works for Delta Airlines in addition to being a Wellness Advocate. Intentional time with friends calls for lattes and outdoor hikes, and she regularly tries to improve her Spanish fluency. A risk-taker, Denise walks by faith, inspired by eternity with her Lord and Savior. Her husband Brad and their children and grandson are her greatest treasures.
Sweet, loving, outgoing
Lead, high tenor • VIOLIN, MANDOLIN, GUITAR, TENOR BANJO, BOUZOUKI
AnaLise inspired the start of the family band when she fell in love with fiddling at age eight. Compassionate and competitive, she loves sports, board games, cooking, books, ping pong, and doing anything social with family and friends. Don’t let her laid back personality fool you, she’s jumped out of an airplane twice and is the first one up for a crazy thrill ride! Her favorite dates with her husband Barak often center around food, Vietnamese and Thai being her favorite. AnaLise teaches music in the Twin Cities, and adores being a mama to their darling boy Jameson.
Discerning, gentle, leader
Bass and lead Vocals
Barak’s instruments of choice are…the vocal chords! He was inspired to sing by choral music and, with his bass voice, holds down the family harmony. Barak is caring husband and father and works as an academic coach and adviser. He enjoys meeting people from all around the world and studying different cultures. In his free time he loves to get outside and play sports, volleyball, baseball, and ultimate frisbee being some of his favorites. Other interests include traveling, board games, reading, geography, exploring the Twin Cities, cooking (he’s a beast in the kitchen..just ask his wife!), and doing whatever it takes to get a belly laugh out of his son Jameson.
Spunky, driven, creative
Harmony, lead • VIOLIN, BANJO, DOBRO, GUITAR
Tuesday mornings, Tessa’s running out the door, breakfast in hand, off to style hair. Spunk, determination, and God’s truth fuel her active life. Any instrument with strings she’ll mess around with, but no wind instruments, please (lung power isn’t her thing). She’s crazy about curry, drinks protein smoothies, loves ultimate frisbee and running, and lifts weights. And to those who think she’d be such a good match for their sons, she’s already taken: Spending time with her husband Justin tops her happy list.
Clever, good-natured, leader
Lead Vocals • GUITAR, CAJON
High-impact pursuits excite Justin—whether running, mountain biking, or cultivating people into great leaders. He’s motivated to give every day his best, knowing God has blessed him to do more than most people could dream of doing in a lifetime. If he’s not managing projects, he’s adding guitar—which he’s played since 10 years old—and cajon to the family band. Music is a stress outlet for him, but he’s happiest sitting in the water fishing or sitting in the woods hunting. Rumor also has it that Justin is good at voice impressions.
Loving, generous, happy
Being with friends and family tops the list for Lucas—he loves activity and events of all kinds. He’s motivated to help people and has earned his reputation as a tireless worker. Lucas’s smile lights up rooms and he is the first to seek out and want to help the less fortunate amongst us. When
he can attend a concert, he sometimes still breaks out his washboard with horns and noisemakers—the infamous “Whiz-Bang”.
We play music on the upbeat
The happy tones of mandolin and fiddles, the support of guitar and upright bass, the chops of harmonica and dobro, plus surprises to keep toes tapping and hands clapping.