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James Weidman — Piano

James Weidman

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Weidman spent his formative years playing organ both in church and in his father's band. "My first paying gig was in a church. In an African-American community especially you'd end up doing a church gig, especially if you could play the sacred music." Through his adolescence he played B3, learning to improvise and accompany, and digging through his dad's record collection, heavy on bebop and post-bop sides from the 1940s through the 1960s. "I became engrossed in learning about all the great pianists and horn men even though I was playing organ. Bud Powell, Bird, and Miles were greater than Spider-Man & Fantastic Four to me." He credits mentors such as James Williams, who preceded Weidman at William Patterson University, and Bob Neloms (the pianist in Charles Mingus' final band), with providing guidance towards a career in jazz.

James Weidman's website