James A Norkawich is an organist and pianist here in Connecticut. Mr.Norkawich plays all different styles of music, but jazz and Classical crossover are the main genres he sticks to. James is trained in all styles and influenced by many artists from Chicago and EWF to The Jeff Healy Band and Meatloaf to Kenny Rodgers and Neil Diamond. There are few forms of music that turn James off.
Mr. Norkawich likes to take an artist’s song and turn it around to make his own version to bring new life to a composer’s song and or catalog. James finds when you take what you have in your own mind, and mix it with someone else’s ideas, you begin to create something special, something different, and something new that turns on the listener. Mr. Norkawich always encourages people to listen to as much as they can, because when they do, they not only keep their minds open but they will be receptive to hearing and doing new and exciting things.
James first started playing the Conn and Hammond organ, and then went back and forth from the organ to the piano. He does have an endorsement with Hammond organ and would love an endorsement with one of the keyboard dealers in the industry. James has done studio work, wedding bands, and private bands, in terms of his musical career in addition to playing in trios and quartets in the tri-state area. He does like being a solo performer because it gives you more flexibility to be your own music while working with others that sing or play instruments. James also has worked as a teacher in the public schools as well as the private school system for 10+ years and found it very satisfying. He found that if you can shape the mind of a child or an adult and encourage them to do their best through music, music has the ability to transcend into many other different things such as math, science, history, and more.
Mr. Norkawich finds that people today are more receptive, especially after the pandemic to the arts because the pandemic it gave them the chance to learn and explore new styles as well as revisit old styles of music, and the quality of music coming out now is a combination of the both of you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool. It provides a total brain workout. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.“It is the expression of deep emotions and feelings.” “Music calms me down, lifts me up and always makes me feel a certain way.” “Explains things when words fail; Music speaks.” “Music helps me connect to life.”
What is your hobby?
Music, Sports, Watching sports, listening to music, going for a drive, going for a ride on the bike, movies.
How did you get started with this hobby?
When I was 3, my grandfather bought me a small keyboard/organ and I just started playing with it. After a few years, I went on to play more and learn on bigger instruments.
Tell us what you love about your hobby.
It’s calming, relaxing, makes you think, and makes me happy as well as other people.
What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?
Everything from more keyboards, amps, recording gear, guitars, basses, microphones, and everything music-related.
What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?
Sam Ash, Guitar Center, Online, Amazon.com, and sometimes local music stores.
How much money have you invested into this? How much would a beginner have to invest to get started?
Are there any good books for beginners?
Just a good ol music book I say is the best.
Are there any online videos you recommend to help beginners?
YouTube and google Piano for beginners
How has your hobby changed your life?
Its made me who I am.
What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?
Take it slow, one day at a time, practice and you will succeed.