Jim Harper is a singer/songwriter based in Ithaca, New York. His repertoire is eclectic—in one set you might hear songs from Gilbert & Sullivan, Bob Dylan, Flanders & Swann, and John Prine, as well as traditional folk songs and his own handcrafted works. Harper started his singing career in second grade—in the children’s choir in his church—and honed his voice through years singing in church and school choirs in his home town. “Even the summer camps I went to were music-related,” says Jim. He started playing guitar in his early teens by learning all the songs in his Pete Seeger and Lennon & McCartney songbooks. He wrote his first songs while he was still in high school.
Jim grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, the son of transplanted Minnesota natives. His mother exposed him to labor union songs, as well as the songs of her favorite musician—Bob Dylan. His father’s musical tastes were more in the classical vein, and Jim’s music reflects this influence, too. His high school choir (under the direction of the late, great Jay Hoel) did dozens of concerts each year, in musical styles ranging from “swing choir” to masses and motets. In addition, he was a devoted fan of WFMT’s long-running “Midnight Special” radio program, which further broadened—some say warped—his musical horizons. You can hear many of these influences in his concerts, and you never know what he may do next.
Jim is not only a musician, but an accomplished visual artist as well. He had gotten a taste of metalsmithing while at Interlochen Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan, “and I was hooked.” He ended up majoring in the Visual Arts in college, and has both a BFA and MA in Sculpture and Metalworking. He works in metal, glass, wood, and many other materials. In addition, he has background in computer programming and higher education. He splits his time between his fine arts and graphic design work through Jim Harper Designs (www.jimharperdesigns.com), and sharing his passion for music with a wide range of audiences.
Jim’s performances are filled with songs that make people sit up, pay attention, sing-along and laugh out loud! He plays guitar as well as many other instruments. For more information you can visit Jim’s website at: www.jimharpermusic.com
Jim may bring up to 3 instruments, as well as a DI box. The vocal mix should be a bit above the instrument volume.