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John Nilsen

AMERICAN PIANIST CONCERT AT BIRDWELL

Wednesday 2nd October 2013, 7pm

JOHN NILSEN: A PROFILE

John Nilsen was born in Seattle, Washington in 1956.  The Nilsen family moved to Portland, Oregon in 1960.  Nilsen began studying classical piano from his mother at age six.  Continuing his musical education, he began playing guitar at age fourteen.  John moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1974 to attend Southern Oregon College (Southern Oregon University).  Nilsen graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and was honored by the institution in 1995 in recognition of his outstanding achievements and dedication in the field of the performing arts with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the most prestigious award bestowed upon Southern Oregon University graduates.  Nilsen founded the Magic Wing recording label in 1987.  The label has a catalog of fifteen successful titles, each with international distribution.  Before founding Magic Wing, John recorded three successful solo piano records on LA’s, Eagle Record, (1983-1985) and has had fifteen other CDs licensed in countries including Germany, Great Britain, The Philippines, Canada, Taiwan, Singapore bringing reported total record sales to one million copies sold.  For nearly three decades John Nilsen has had two hundred compositions and musical arrangements receiving radio, TV and digital royalties via BMI, Sound Exchange and other royalty paying groups world wide.

Upon occasion an artist delivers something special and unique by separating himself from others.  Such is the case with John Nilsen’s newest  CD on Magic Wing, WILD ROSE.  A take off on Portland, Or., The City of Roses, WILD ROSE, is a collection of ten Nilsen compositions, each featuring a different band on each track.  “Conceptually I thought working with people I had worked with throughout my career and with others I hadn’t ever worked with would be an intriguing way of carving new musical ground on my 18th recording.  I brought in Dave Captein, long time musical collaborator Phil Baker of Pink Martini and Damian Erskine on bass, The Decemberist’s, John Moen, to play drums, high school friend and occasional musical collaborator, Greg Georgeson, all the guys in SWIMFISH and others.”  WILD ROSE is a must have CD and is already being hailed as a Nilsen classic.

In 2009 Nilsen’s first solo piano recording in over twenty years, PLACES I GO was released.  The popular and successful PLACES I GO was preceded by the stellar 2006 recording, JOHN NILSEN and SWIMFISH, featuring John’s guitar work, vocals and singer/songwriter skills.  JOHN NILSEN and SWIMFISH is a very talented folk-rock band with strong emphasis on vocal harmony and originality. Late, original member of the hit-making band, AMERICA, Dan Peek writes, “John, major kudos on your John Nilsen and SWIMFISH CD. The music is superb, the lyrics inspired and the production/arranging is top notch.  The songwriting hangs together well and the tracks flow, carving out a groove as natural as a river carves a canyon.  You deserve to be heard.” These three recent releases validate Nilsen’s commitment to evolve not only as a composer, but as a successful and diverse recording artist and multi-instrumentalist in a music world where change is often frowned upon.

“John’s music has a magical quality to it.  Each new recording seems to be his best,” praises a long time KINK radio DJ in Portland, Oregon.  One of the Northwest’s largest selling musical artists, Nilsen has long been in the KINK stable of Oregon artists having a track on three KINK, Lights Out CDs and having done many in studio live performances..

Famed guitarist Guthrie Thomas is credited with launching Nilsen’s music career twenty-nine years ago.  Thomas knew then what we know now, that Nilsen was a player and a talent. He invited Nilsen to record on his Eagle Records label in LA and there a career was born. With 240 annual performances and national tours of the United States, including performances in all fifty U.S. States, Europe and Asia, the rewards of his diligence are unmistakable.  He has earned a devout following of listeners and with his international distribution, his popularity continues to grow.

Sometimes accompanied by many of the very finest musicians from the Northwest, Nilsen is an innovative performer who creates an intimate repartee with his audience.  “As a performer, I like exploring beyond the boundaries of my recorded songs.  It gives me the chance to offer something special, spontaneous and personal to my audience.  The entire performance hinges on the connection not only between the players, but with the audience as well.” 

Nilsen has appeared with such luminaries as Jose Feliciano, Jesse Colin Young, David Foster, Alex De Grassi, Kenny G and many others.  His recordings are featured on over forty musical collections and samplers throughout the globe, including a Rhino Records Sampler.  Extensive radio play furthers Nilsen’s ever-growing audience.  As Chicago radio personality Rick O’Dell observes, “John is one of our show’s most requested and talked about artists.”

Like many artists, travel, outdoor activities and family are rich sources of fuel for Nilsen’s creative drive.  Yet, it is the intense clarity with which he is able to translate his experiences into music that distinguishes him.  Nilsen brings us songs of life.  From the bustle of a French café to the torrent of a raging stream, Nilsen’s music inspires us to look more carefully, to feel more deeply and to celebrate this life of ours.

 

Ministerial oversight of Birdwell Methodist Church

 

Rev Mick Neal

(Superintendent of the Barnsley Circuit)

became minister of Birdwell Methodist Church

in September 2015.

He can be contacted on 01226 770422

or by email - revmickneal@googlemail.com

Note: Changes to come in the Barnsley Circuit, Sept 2016


 

For details of forthcoming events, please look at our Calendar page.

Events for the coming week are at the top right of our homepage.

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The 'Barnsley Blitz' Chess Tournament 

 

Barnsley Blitz 2009

BARNSLEY BLITZ CHESS TOURNAMENT 2011

Took place on 11th May and raised

£100 for Barnsley Street Pastors

£87.50 for Water Borehole in Ghana

Thanks, Everyone! 


Picture in memory of Ruth Edgar, 13thJanuary 2013

Painting in memory of Ruth Edgar, dedicated 13th January 2013