About Jim

Jim’s love of piano began in his teens.  Jim did not have the opportunity to study in a university, but was very fortunate to have studied privately with great pianists, including Joe Azarello, George Jones, and Russ Messina. The legendary Stan Szelest inspired Jim and taught him rhythm & blues.  Over the years Jim has honed his piano skills, and  freelances in a diversity of styles and genres and in various musical formats. Jim is a refined solo pianist, and also plays as a duo, trio, quartet, and in larger ensembles.
Jim has performed at top Western NY and international events as well as countless restaurants and country clubs in the western NY area.  Concerts from the 70’s and 80’s include concert performances with Chuck Berry, Danny and The Juniors, Muddy Waters, and The Diamonds.  More recently Jim accompanied Aretha Franklin at one of her last performances at Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls NY.
Jim has been featured regularly each year for 13 years at the Lewiston Jazz Festival.  Other jazz festivals he has performed at are the  CMC Jazz Festival – Buffalo, NY, Ellicottville Blues Festival – Ellicottville, NY, and Porthcawl Jazz Festival in Wales, UK.  He has been featured several times at the Albright Knox Art Gallery sponsored by the Buffalo Evening News.
Jim has also been a part of the New York City and Toronto music scene.  He played BB King’s in Manhattan with his brother, Rich, on drums and wife, Janice Mitchell.   He has performed a number of Toronto venues with his partner Janice Mitchell including The Rex and Jazz Bistro.  Jim also played with Kenny Lewis of the Steve Miller Band and Buffy St Marie for the opening of the film, RUMBLE, which was a Celebration of Nations concert in Toronto, along with JUNO Award winner, Derick Miller.
Jim has done arrangements and charts for jazz vocalist Mark Murphy as well local artists.  Musicians often request Jim to perform with them for the annual Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Induction ceremony
Jim can be heard on CD projects accompanying many WNY artists and was also hired by QRS Records to record blues and country CD’s made for Yamaha disc player pianos.
For over two decades, Jim has partnered with his wife, Janice Mitchell, whose credits include world tours as a backup singer for Ray Charles, live performance with Stevie Wonder, backup vocals for Nancy Wilson, Melba Moore, Jimmy Smith, and many more.  She appeared in Sidney Poitier’s movie, “Uptown Saturday Night” as a vocalist.
Together, with Jim’s musical arrangements and Janice’s vocal interpretations, Jim and Janice have created the signature sound that sets them apart as being one fo Buffalo’s best.
Jim and his quartet, with partner and vocalist, Janice Mitchell, was awarded “Best Small” Jazz Group”, by Buffalo Music Awards.


Music tailored to fit your occasion!


Jim is available to play piano for your public, private, and corporate events. His experience includes entertainment for schools, universities, festivals, parties, concerts, and weddings.   Jim offers various configurations of his music. You may opt for Jim playing solo piano, as a duo with vocalist, as a trio, or with his quartet depending on your individual preferences.  The style of music depends on what is most appropriate for your tastes and event.

Jim’s repertoire includes a huge variety of music from the 1920’s through the present, jazz and blues standards, rock classics, and pop.  He is also an experienced church musician and is proficient in both B3 organ and piano in playing gospel and religious music.  Accompanying musicians and music styles for your event will be selected, tailored to meet your specific needs and preferences.

Jim will prepare lead sheets or charts for vocalists and other musicians for use with musical ensembles. Charts are designed in his distinct style to meet your specifications.  Jim prepares each chart to fit the need of each individual.
Charts sample

Jim also gives private instruction if you are in the WNY area or online personal instructions if you are out of the area.  He instructs at all levels, from the beginning student to the seasoned pro who is seeking a deeper understanding of jazz and blues.    His secondary goal is to make students aware of the practical skills that are needed on the actual job as a performer, learned from his many years of being a performing artist.

Contact Jim for pricing

Blues and R&B

Blues In G

Please Dont Go

Kitchen Blues

Veaux Carre

Candy Blues

Its All Gone Now

Its All- Gone Now

Its Not Enough

Back and Broke

One More Night

Heading Westward

Deeper Shade of Blue

Shadows All Around Us

Louisiana Rain

Vanishing Hours

Extra Extra

Another Sucker Born Every Minute

Waiting for The Whiskey To Kick In


Lester Leaps In


Autumn Leaves

The Chicken

Little Sunflower

Blue Trane

Waltz 4 Hornz

Pop Standards

Jobim Medley

You’d Better Love Me

You’re Gonna Hear From Me

The Best Is Yet To Come

Once Upon A Dream

This is The Life

Learning The Blues

Ill Catch the Sun

Samba de Amor

That Old Black Magic

Solo Piano

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