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  • Tim Janis

    An interview with musician, composer, arranger, and conductior Tim Janis
    by Tina Hall
    October 2010

    Tim Janis (seated right) with Paul McCartney

    Tim Janis (seated right) with Paul McCartney

    Tim Janis has worked with some of music’s most talented minds like Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and Ray Charles to name a few. He has composed ten Billboard charting albums over the course of his career. Janis has had his work featured on four public television specials to date and is currently working on the special Celebrate America, which focuses on music in public schools. Tim has worked to promote several charitable causes like the American Cancer Society and Church World Service.

    On December 2nd he brings The American Christmas Carol to Carnegie Hall to benefit Little Sisters of the Poor. Featuring a cast of truly talented artists it is a show you simply have to see. The cast comprises of Tim Janis, Chandler Lutz, Donald Braswell, Jim Cole, Sarah Darling, Wendy McPike, Emily Bear, and the ever talented Wisconsin native Eli Mattson (who I am sure readers remember from the third season of America’s Got Talent). Jimmy Nichols is the Music Director and Andy Hire, Todd Sullivan, and Kevin Cooper conduct the symphony orchestra and chorus. Rolland Smith is the host for the event, one of those rare events that remind you of the joy and wonder of Christmas felt as a child from the true meaning of the season, that the entire family can enjoy together.

    Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about where you are from and how your early beginnings helped shape you into who you are at this point in your life?
    Tim Janis: I am from Maine. I thank God for my gift to write music. I was at a Military HS when I decided to do music so I had a lot of catching up to do. But it was all in the heart.

    MI: When did you first know you had to be a musician? What did that realization feel like?
    TJ: When I was in the 10th Grade. I knew it then and I liked all aspects. I liked the road, recording,  etc.,  that is important you spend a lot of time on the road.

    MI: Have your own musical tastes and style evolved most since you first began your career?
    TJ: No, they have stayed the same. I like a lot of different music.

    MI: Why do you think music has such a comforting affect on people in times such as these?
    TJ: It reaches directly to the soul, speaks right to the heart somehow.

    MI: Do you feel blessed to be able to use your music to also help charitable causes?
    TJ: I feel God uses each one of us to heal and to help people. It is mysterious to me how music does can help people. I love seeing it help people.

    MI:You seem to have a very well grounded faith. Why would you say that is? Do you find faith an important instrument in dealing with whatever may come?
    TJ: God has kept me going that’s all. Each day. It is beautiful and wonderful. I can only explain it through music, words are hard for me it’s to big and important to me put down on paper. I feel I would fail in doing so.

    MI: Can you tell us a little about the upcoming The American Christmas Carol at Carnegie Hall? What can people expect from this show?
    TJ: It is a wonderful Christmas Celebration. I am on a 10 day tour performing for Sisters and a prison and everywhere we go we like to spread the message of Christmas, the hope that is found for us in the Birth of Jesus.

    MI: What was it like to work with Eli Mattson? What is he like as a person?
    TJ: This is my first time working with Eli. I am a big fan. He is an amazing artist.

    MI: There are so many truly talented artists in this show. How did you go about approaching all of them for this show? Do you find your work easier when the people truly love their work as these do?
    TJ: Yes. That is correct when an artist has a passion to share their work we get along well.

    MI: The show goes to benefit Little Sisters of the Poor. Can you tell us a little about them, what they do, and why you chose to contribute to this particular cause? Where can our readers go to make a contribution to them?
    TJ: Here is info on the Little Sisters of the Poor.They take care of the Elderly. The Sisters do a wonderful job and bless us so much with the peace. We actually stay with them in NYC and attend Mass with them. It is so uplifting. http://www.littlesistersofthepoor.org/

    MI: Over the course of your career you have working with several legendary artists. Do any of those stand out most in your mind?
    TJ: I like them all it is hard to say they were all so special. George Clooney was really entertaining he told some wonderful stories. Paul McCartney was so down to earth and easy to talk with. They were all great and I felt very privileged to have had the opportunity.

    MI: What advice would you give people in regards to following their own dreams, whatever they may be?
    TJ: Dreams are fun to follow. It should be that way. For instance when I stop at a truck stop on route 84, I am following my dream. A musician on the road what could be cooler! I love it, so even if I drove 20 hours and slept in my car, which I have done a few times in the last month, it is easy because I am following my dream and doing what I love.

    MI: When you first started all of this did you ever imagine you’d have had 10 albums on the Billboard charts?
    TJ: I never knew what to expect.

    MI: You have had several Public Television Specials. Have you always been a fan of Public Television?
    TJ: Yes. I grew to be a bigger fan as I learn more about the world and appreciated PBS work in share uplifting and inspiring information to help enrich people’s lives,

    MI: Why do you think music in public schools is so important in enriching the lives of today’s youth?
    TJ: It develops the heart and brings people together in community.

    MI: What projects are you looking forward to in the future?
    TJ: Carnegie Hall

    MI: Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?
    TJ: Well,it is early morning here on the road.Time for Breakfast. May God Bless you.

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