How old were you when you began playing piano?
At age 4, I begged my parents for a piano. They agreed to piano lessons but I practiced with the keys drawn on a piece of green felt. My parents finally conceded and bought a beat-up piano, in case I didn’t stick with it. Once I knew this was a passion of mine, I trained at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University.
How did you get started in the music business?
While still in college, I started a commercial jingle company. From that experience, I learned how to ‘pound the pavement’ selling my music to advertising agencies. After years of successfully composing for products from kitty litter and bug spray to cars and fast food, I decided to focus on the nature of people rather than the products they buy. I recorded a solo piano album, sent it to labels and got no feedback. So I took a lesson from my early jingle days and pounded the pavement once again, asking local radio stations to play my songs. Before my jingle days, at the age of 15, I was a rehearsal pianist for the Heights Youth Theatre in Cleveland, OH.
How do you classify your music?
You’ll find Jim Brickman in the New Age section, but I consider my sound ‘solo instrumental pop music.’ I think of my melodies as a reaffirmation of idealism and romanticism. My career is modeled after people like Burt Bacharach and Quincy Jones, who are known as composers, but also performers.
Who listens to Jim Brickman’s music?
I began my career by attracting the ear of women 25-64. A growing number of men have become fans while accompanying wives and girlfriends to concerts (all that romantic music and hand holding pays off). Many couples are walking down the aisle to my love songs, then taking the relaxing instrumentals into labor while giving birth.
What inspires you?
My music is a reflection of the world; nature, love, people and spirituality. I try not to work too hard creating a melody. I just let it flow naturally.
Do you have any creative or musical influences that inspire you?
Creatively, I am influenced by Jim Henson and Walt Disney. Both are creative geniuses. Musically, I am influenced by many 70’s Singer/ Songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Carole King, The Carpenters and Burt Bacharach.
How do you choose singers and collaborators?
I choose people who I’ve always admired and wanted to work with. I also like singers with up and coming careers who I feel my audience would like to hear.
Do you sing?
I sing a bit in concert. As a writer, there’s something about singing your own song that comes from a special place that’s honest. Having someone else sing brings a new element to the piece.
What can the audience expect at your concert?
They’ll get a little of everything. Beautiful piano music, love songs, stories, and even some laughs. No flashy special effects – just pure music! It’s a great escape for a couple of hours, to hold hands, relax and exhale.