is a world class guitarist....
I knew right away he was a world class guitarist.”
...is a consummate veteran jazz guitarist...Measure
after measure, their music is simply a true joy of life! In music,
as in life, playing the changes can be challenging. Jimmy and the
Swingers embrace it, and these chordmasters navigate without ever
getting lost or disoriented on challenging pieces like “Baboo’s
Blues.” The result, with its abundant reward, is a spiritual
and emotional depth to their music. Joe Pass would be proud of them."
Joe Ross, Bluegrass
tribune calls Kanas
Jim Kanas' playing Doc Watson peacefully coexists with Joe Pass.
Creating a distinct personal style
from such disparate influences isn't easy to do. Jim pulls it off
Prairie Home Companion
a beautiful CD ("Jimmy and the Swingers"),
beautiful musically, beautiful guitar work. No doubt through
experience and understanding,
Jim Kanas has become his instrument."
festival--Jim Kanas is a
Instructor of Jazz Piano and Improvisation
Kanas is a guitarist from Northern Illinois. As a teenager
Jim studied classical music and jazz improvisation and
through educational and other venues found himself in the
company of many jazz performers and educators including
Pat Metheny, George Benson, Gary Burton and Stan Kenton
to name a few. Also, at that time Jim was performing with then
neighboring high school student/saxophonist Bill Evans sat-in
with veteran blues man Eddy Clearwater. Jim won consecutive
awards as a jazz guitarist in the Chicago land area and then
later pursued his love and "hobby" of playing bluegrass,
traditional music. He then once again found himself surrounded by
and jamming with influential musicians such as Steve Goodman,
Corky Siegel, the Nashville Cats, Allison Krause, Harvey Ried,
Jethro Burns and others. Jim broadened out his performance
base to include pedal steel guitar, fiddle, banjo, harmonica,
mandolin, dobro and vocals and toured regionally as a sideman
with many country oriented groups. Jim earned a unique interdisciplinary
music performance degree from Northern Illinois University in
contemporary guitar skills, commercial music and American folk
instruments. Jim Kanas' professional collaborations have included
concerts, recordings and/or performances with other Midwest musicians
such as harmonica/pianist, Howard Levy; violinists, Johnny Frigo,
Ostroushko; mandolinist, Don Stiernberg;
bassist, Larry Gray; blues man, Eddy Snow; guitarists, Muriel Anderson
Fareed Haque; percussionist, Rubén
P. Alvarez and others.
Jim now spends much time as an artist-in-residence throughout Illinois
with the Illinois Arts Council and
other cultural arts organizations. He is an
Illinois Arts Council Artstour artist and performs and records regularly
a soloist (singer/multi-instrumentalist), with the Jim Kanas Trio
(folk/bluegrass/western swing) and with the Jim Kanas Jazz Quartet.
bio for educational programming
Kanas is an American folk musician, jazz guitarist and producer
with the Illinois Arts Council's ArtsTour program who has conducted
numerous school music residencies for over 20 years. Jim was featured
this past Spring on WTTW11, Chicago, PBS "Arts Across Illinois"
and has performed at colleges, festivals and broadcast medium throughout
Illinois. His American Folk Music Programs trace the development
of American music through its ethnical roots and incorporates a
large assortment of conventional, homemade and world instruments.
Jim Kanas' assemblies, breakout sessions and residencies are interdisciplinary
in nature, cross-cultural in tone and highly engaging. Jim is also
a certified music K-12 . For more on Jim Kanas' educational and
performance programs visit www.jimkanas.com.
for assemblies and educational programming
Kanas is an ArtsTour artist with the Illinois arts council.
He is a performing musician AND a teacher. Jim has been
bringing his assembly program on American music into the
schools for almost 20 years! He has played in concerts,
festivals, on the radio and TV throughout Illinois and lives in
a little town out in the country, in Northern Illinois. Jim was
featured on channel 11/Chicago PBS this past year and
received a National Leadership Award. Boys and girls,
teachers and staff, please welcome Jim Kanas.