Accomplished jazz singer, speaker, and entertainer Tim Tamashiro is heading to Lacombe this month.
His performance runs on March 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre.
Besides his successful career as a singer, Tamashiro, who has released six records, was also the host of Tonic on CBC Radio 2 for a decade.
According to his bio, he eventually departed from CBC to study positive psychology, well-being, and Ikigai (life’s worth).
Tamashiro, who was born in Lacombe and raised in Blackfalds, is also the creator of the unique ‘story/song’ cabarets – weaving story narration with his selection of tunes.
Local audiences will be able to experience his artistry firsthand during the upcoming performance, which is entitled ‘A Singer with Four Hands’ and also features pianists Sheldon Zandboer and Andrew Glover.
“I wanted to come up with a new idea where I could not only try out some new songs and showcase the idea of ‘art in the moment’ and ‘music in the moment’, but I also have a real appreciation for both of these wonderful piano players,” explained Tamashiro.
“Sheldon is from here in Calgary, and I’ve worked with him on and off for 25 years now. And it’s the same with Andrew who is from Edmonton,” he added. “These are two of the most amazing pianists who also have this vast repertoire. They are just incredible musicians and, I would say, spontaneous creators, too.”
For Tamashiro, the joys of collaboration are truly at the heart of it.
“We are really going into this with our eyes wide open sayinf, ‘Well, let’s just see what happens’.”
These are indeed exciting days for Tamashiro, who has also landed a gig for Cunard Cruise Lines to be a vocalist aboard the Queen Victoria cruise ship.
Tamashiro will be wowing audiences during treks throughout Europe, including the British Isles, Germany, and then down to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa.
Then it’s back to areas around Spain, off to the Scandinavian countries, and finally wrapping the journey in Iceland.
“What a tour! It’s crazy to think that I will get to be a part of seeing all of those amazing places,” he said. “Even more exciting to me is the opportunity to make a whole bunch of friends from around the world, to learn new music, and have this new experience.”
Looking back, Tamashiro’s passion for music was sparked early on.
“Growing up in Blackfalds, we didn’t have much access to ‘live’ music or to people who played music on a regular basis,” he said.
Tamashiro began playing the piano at home and learning by ear, and it certainly proved a gift that just started to grow.
After high school, he joined his first band which was based out of Red Deer.
“It was like a party band – a weekend band – that was called Sixpack,” he recalled. “They were playing three-chord songs, and I happened to know three chords – so I would play along and it was a lot of fun,” he added with a laugh.
Later on, he registered for music studies at Red Deer College in 1986 – the first year that it was also partly housed in the brand-new Arts Centre.
“That’s where I first really learned the importance of taking the bull by the horns and realizing that if you were going to do something in music, you really had to be in control of it creatively.
“It was a great learning experience,” he said, adding that this was also the time when he discovered that singing was something he was really passionate about – particularly the stylings of jazz not to mention the magic of diving into the sonic treasures within the Great American Songbook.
“I remember thinking, this just fits my voice better than anything that I have tried before,” he said. “It was cool to sing that kind of stuff, and I just stuck with it.
“And once you find the genre that works with your voice, you’ve got to stick with it and explore it from every angle.”
For tickets to the Lacombe performance, head to lacombeperformingartscentre.com/events.