Thursday, March 23, 2017
Multimedia rock musical production. A musical journey through the 70's featuring the songs of Billy Joel and Elton John with vocals and piano playing by Jim. Backed by three instrumentalists. Show has travelled worldwide, including Dubai, England, Scotland, Holland and North America (Student Outreach).
Whether it be his country music, contemporary Christian, or the music of Billy Joel and Elton John, Jim’s versatility as an artist has allowed him the opportunity to reach out and share his music and his infectious personality with audiences of all ages across Canada and the United States. His unique approach and comfortable rapport makes each member of his audience feel as though they are a part of a private concert in the comfort of their own living room. This, along with his rich, powerful voice and ease of manner at the piano, make him a favourite with theatre goers everywhere.
A few years ago, Jim came up with the concept for the show “The Piano Men”; a musical journey through the 70’s featuring the songs of Billy Joel and Elton John. "I was always a big fan of acoustic music-especially the folk of the ‘70s: James Taylor, Harry Chapin," he reveals, "but my real mentors were Billy Joel and Elton John." This multi-media rock musical has turned out to be a hit, receiving rave reviews from music critics all across North America. The show has even travelled overseas to Dubai, England, Scotland and will be making it's premiere this fall in Holland!
It all started at a very early age, as Jim began performing in the comfort of his own living room. His Mother would play piano, and Jim would belt out the hits, everything from the Beatle’s to Broadway musicals. Not bad for a four year old! All through his school years, Jim knew that he was destined to have a career in the music business. “I never really thought of doing anything else”, he says, “and neither did my parents because they always encouraged me to follow my dream”.
And follow it he did. Jim paid his dues, playing in the clubs and bars around Southern Ontario for years. He would write songs and record demos during the day, and play in the clubs at night to pay the bills. Jim met his wife Rebecca in 1985. Together, they worked tirelessly to promote Jim’s talent and music in hopes that one day their efforts would be recognized. Finally in 1990, one of Jim’s demos came to the attention of a Sony Music Canada executive, which really got Jim’s recording career rolling. A record deal with a smaller independent label in Canada, soon gave way to a multi-record deal with Curb Records of Nashville, home of Tim McGraw, Leanne Rimes and Wynonna Judd. From his first self titled record, to “All My Life” and “Forgiveness”, Jim has had 10 top ten radio hits in Canada, 7 hit videos on CMT,and impressive chart action in the U.S. on Billboard and R&R.
Jim’s music and songwriting have been recognized on both sides of the border, earning him multiple awards and nominations from the Canadian Country Music Association, the Juno Awards, and most recently the Dove Awards in Nashville, where Jim’s album “Forgiveness” was nominated for Inspirational Album of the year. “Songwriting has always been a real love of mine”, says Jim. “I feel very fortunate to have been able to work with so many incredible song-writers over the past years, like Steve Wariner for instance. Not only have the collaborations produced songs that I am very proud of, but I have gained an invaluable education and created lifelong friendships along the way.”
Jim still lives in Southern Ontario with his wife, Rebecca, and their four children, James, Roslyn, Ryan and Luke. A devoted family man, Jim is also very active in his community, supporting numerous charities and organizations, especially those which benefit children and their families. “All I’ve ever wanted from this business is to be able to support my family and to make people feel a little better when they hear my music. To help them forget about their troubles for a while and enjoy the moment”, he concludes. “If I can continue doing this 5, 10, 15 years down the road, I’ll be perfectly happy.”