Jim Gilman was seemingly fated to play the accordion. At age 7, a local Chicago accordion school called his parents and offered 6 weeks of free accordion lessons because they had heard their son “had talent.” After resisting a high-pressure accordion salesman, private lessons were arranged.
A move to California during Jim’s high-school years seemed to halt his accordion career, but fate stepped in once more. Jim’s father actually saw in the Long Beach paper, “Wanted: Accordion player.” I ask you – how many times have you ever seen that? He earned his way through college playing at Knott’s Berry Farm as a street musician. During the summer, it meant playing 8 hours a day, 5 days a week – for the princely sum of $1.85 per hour.
A student loan bought Jim his first Cordovox and he was on his way. In 1972 he met up with a saxophone player by way of a 3×5 card posted on a bulletin board and they went “on the road” playing at Holiday Inns all over the mid-west.
Along the way, that Cordovox was upgraded time and time again to where his accordion now controls, via MIDI, keyboards, computers, a module, and a vocalizer. Jim’s not a one-man band; he’s a one man orchestra. “It’s truly amazing what electronics, computers and MIDI – when added to the versatility of an accordion – have done for my ability to entertain audiences,” says Jim.
Jim (also known locally as “The Squeezinator”) plays all over Southern California – small dinner parties, country clubs, yacht clubs, cruise ships, and large charitable events. He put on his pair of lederhosen and performed on the Jimmy Kimmel show for Sam Adams Brewery. He’s performed from the heights – playing music for a wedding in a small plane flying above Los Angeles, to the depths – playing in a “sewer” for a KFI radio stunt, and all kinds of engagements in between. Come hear the possibilities and see his new Petosa accordion with the 24kt gold grill. It was custom-made for him and it’s the only one in the world like it. You can contact Jim at 714 777-6667 – home, 714 588-0676 – cell, firstname.lastname@example.org or his web site www.jimgilman.com