Breaking News Bar
posted: 11/1/2013 10:00 AM

Moving Picture: Bartlett guitarist also art therapist

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Video: Moving Picture: Guitar Hero

  • Marklund client Ashley, who has severe developmental disabilities, sings along with Bartlett resident and recreation therapist Wesley Kochan, as he plays his guitar at the center in Geneva.

       Marklund client Ashley, who has severe developmental disabilities, sings along with Bartlett resident and recreation therapist Wesley Kochan, as he plays his guitar at the center in Geneva.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Wesley Kochan, aka Wes Lee "K," of Bartlett, performs an Elvis Presley song as Robin's Nest resident Mary, front center, dances with caregiver Debbie while resident Jose taps his foot, background right, on the porch of the senior home in St. Charles.

       Wesley Kochan, aka Wes Lee "K," of Bartlett, performs an Elvis Presley song as Robin's Nest resident Mary, front center, dances with caregiver Debbie while resident Jose taps his foot, background right, on the porch of the senior home in St. Charles.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Wesley Kochan, recreation therapist at Marklund in Geneva, gets client Ashley to respond by strumming his guitar at the center.

       Wesley Kochan, recreation therapist at Marklund in Geneva, gets client Ashley to respond by strumming his guitar at the center.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Wesley Kochan of Bartlett performs as Wes Lee "K" and The Third Wheel, outdoors at the Bartlett Nature Center in September.

       Wesley Kochan of Bartlett performs as Wes Lee "K" and The Third Wheel, outdoors at the Bartlett Nature Center in September.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Wesley Kochan preforms as Wes Lee "K" and The Third Wheel with Laurie Schaefer, guitar, vocals and flute, Brian Kelly on bass and keyboards with Scott Emmerling playing drums and percussion at the Bartlett Nature Center.

       Wesley Kochan preforms as Wes Lee "K" and The Third Wheel with Laurie Schaefer, guitar, vocals and flute, Brian Kelly on bass and keyboards with Scott Emmerling playing drums and percussion at the Bartlett Nature Center.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Wesley Kochan of Bartlett sings and plays his guitar as Wes Lee "K" and The Third Wheel with Laurie Schaefer of Wheaton playing the guitar during a show at the Bartlett Nature Center.

       Wesley Kochan of Bartlett sings and plays his guitar as Wes Lee "K" and The Third Wheel with Laurie Schaefer of Wheaton playing the guitar during a show at the Bartlett Nature Center.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

Music fuses all parts of Wesley Kochan's life together.

Whether preforming jazz-fusion music as Wes Lee "K" under the spotlight at the Hard Rock Cafe in Chicago, light rock as a recreation therapist at Marklund in Geneva, or Elvis Presley songs as an art therapist at Robin's Nest in St. Charles, music is all about connecting with people for the Bartlett resident.

"I have to work on music, it's part of who I am," Kochan says.

A rocker since he was 16, he is now a full-time recreation therapist at Marklund in Geneva where he teaches resident adults with severe developmental disabilities to sing along and strum his guitar.

Kochan is also a part-time art therapist at four Robin's Nest retirement homes in the Fox Valley area where he often gets residents to sing and dance while he performs his own music. The guitar whiz often mixes jazz-fusion instrumentals with rock and folk ballads, that pour out from his blue Takamine acoustic-electric guitar through his hand-painted blue Fender acoustasonic amplifier.

Kochan formed a rock band for fun over the summer called Wes Lee "K" and The Third Wheel which performs at various outdoor venues including the pavilion at Bartlett Nature Center.

He also writes music, and recently composed a song "A Better Day," which fits right in line with his outgoing attitude and infectious spirit.

"I called it 'Better Day' because not everyone is going to have a good day -- but everyone could have a better day," he says.

Over the past decade, the rocker has fused classical, baroque and flamenco music together, even adding pop rhythm beats. His musical repertoire seems to have no boundaries when it comes to genre.

"This past year I began to add rhythm and blues and jazz to my repertoire," says Kochan.

Although he continues to inspire Marklund and Robin's Nest residents with his musical talents, Kochan still gets a thrill from cranking out rock tunes to larger audiences. Whether it's performing as Wes Lee "K" or with The Third Wheel, Kochan continues to look for any opportunity to play in the suburbs or in Chicago. You could say that music really is what he's all about.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.