Playing the piano is Jim Bray’s passion. Jim’s interest in music—which started at age 8—is a reflection of his upbringing. Raised in a home filled with music, Jim’s mother, who played the violin and trumpet, was a major influence in his early years.
Kindled by a neighbor who was a good stride piano player, Jim spent two years taking introductory piano lessons during his youth. Mostly self-taught, he continues to enhance and develop his skills on his own.
Jim was involved in his school band playing the trumpet. He remained active in music at Southwest Missouri State University, pursuing a music minor. After serving in Vietnam, Jim continued working on his music, playing the piano as a hobby, expanding into all musical styles.
Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s Jim concentrated on current pop tunes, jazz and classical works. In the 80s he began looking for a style that combined pop, contemporary, easy listening and new age into a unique blend of music, while continuing to develop his own style. In the 1990s, a new style of music evolved—one that was very similar to the work Jim was developing.
Jim has felt the influences of artists such as David Lanz, George Winston, Billy Joel, Elton John, Lionel Richie, and the Beatles. However, the single most influential artist is Jim Brickman, predominantly his earlier works which started Jim on a new path. Brickman’s style of easy listening music taught Jim to completely change and refine his method of playing, enabling him to play solo piano that is filled with simple and beautiful music. Similar to Brickman, Jim plays a Yamaha baby grand piano.
Jim continues to refine his playing style – striving for a combination of easy listening, pop and new age solo piano. Because of Jim’s passion for music, he is pursuing a professional career where he plans to perform, write, compose, and produce.
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