Jazz with Jim is a monthly concert hosted by local musician and former Hillsborough Community College instructor and Director of Music, Jim Burge. The concert is best known for fusing personal stories by the musicians with popular jazz tunes suited for that month’s theme. Patrons can purchase home baked goods donated by the Center’s volunteers, which help complete the intimate ambience.
The first Jazz with Jim of 2013 is a special concert for the Center as we welcome acclaimed flutist, Jim Walker.
Special Guest: Jim Walker
Few other flutists in history have made such indelible marks in so many musical circles. From jazz to pop to classical, television to film to the concert hall, Jim Walker has never met a crowd that didn’t love his powerful, “stand and deliver” performances.
His star began to rise when in 1969, when Jim was named Associate Principal Flute in the Pittsburgh Symphony after a stint playing in the US Military Academy Band at West Point. He quickly gained the admiration of colleagues and audiences in Pittsburgh and set his sights on Principal Flute jobs. After eight years he won the Principal Flute position in the Los Angeles Philharmonic and never looked back.
To be Principal Flute of a major orchestra is to sit at the pinnacle of the profession. Most flutists who reach that height are content to spend the rest of their careers there, but Jim felt an eagerness and aspiration to move his music-making forward yet again. After seven successful seasons of performing, recording, and touring with the Los Angeles Philharmonic—during which time the New York Philharmonic briefly borrowed him as Principal Flute for their 1982 South American tour—Jim left the orchestra, diving off the mountaintop into the world of jazz, studio recording and teaching.
Jazz had been one of Jim’s puppy loves, and he was inspired to get back to it by LA’s lively club scene. After a few years of avid listening in dives, gaining confidence undercover in the practice room, he organized his jazz quartet Free Flight. Flute, piano, bass, and drums playing jazz-classical fusion, Free Flight took the music world by storm. Jim’s unique combination of vision and determination pushed the group to appearances on the Tonight Show, The Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Playboy Jazz Festival. Their recordings have always received rave reviews and are unique on the music landscape. By the time Jean-Pierre Rampal—the granddaddy of modern classical flutists—called “Jimmy” his “favorite jazz flute player” in the 1990’s, Jim was recognized as a “Player”.
Life was equally good for Jim Walker in LA’s famed studio scene. Until his retirement from the studios in June or 2012, he was a first-call studio flutist for the better part of two decades. His bold, expressive playing can be heard on hundreds of soundtracks and commercial recordings. His playing became the gold standard from Hollywood to Carnegie Hall and unlocked the door to studio and concert collaborations with everyone from John Williams and Paul McCartney—“the thrill of a lifetime,” says Jim—to Wayne Shorter, Leonard Bernstein, James Galway, and the LA Guitar Quartet.
ADVANCED TICKETS: $20 members / $24 non-members / $22 students & seniors (65+)
DAY-OF-SHOW: $22 members / $26 non-members / $24 students & seniors (65+)