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Biography

Career Highlights


MUSIC:

Founder of Canadian Folk group TAMARACK, solo songwriter, songwriter in Residence CBC radio

Education: Over 1000 songwriting workshops for elementary and secondary schools in Canada, U.S.A, Japan and Vietnam.

Record Producer: founder Pipe Street Studio—albums produced for dozens of acoustic roots acts since 1995

Most recent solo albums: My Stars Your Eyes, 2010; Nine Green Bottles, 2007; Two Steps and A Glass of Water, 2005; Hardscrabble Road, 2005; Songs of the Lost Villages, 2004; Endomusia, 2004; The Song The River Sings, 2004.

Previous solo albums: Looking For Livingstone, 1987; Farther Along, 1991; Hometown Tunes, 1994; Dim Lights, Small City, 1995; More Hometown Tunes, 1997; Soundtrack recording; The Spirit of Shivaree, 1990; Songs From Basic Black, 1999; Pipe Street Dreams, 1999: More Songs From Basic Black, 2000; Mining For Gold, 2000; Road Kill Hat, 2001; One Timeless Moment, 2002; Song Of Our City, 2002; Out On A Rural Ramble (Songs from Northumberland County), 2002; Tune Cooties, 2002; One In Five, 2002. Healing Embers, 2003 (special project with the Spark of Brilliance Troubadours about mental health issues.

With TAMARACK: Music of Canada, 1980; A Pleasant Gale, 1983; Ontario: 200 Musical Years, 1984; The Tamarack Collection, 1986; Shave The Bear, 1989; Fields of Rock and Snow, 199l; Frobisher Bay, 1993; On The Grand, 1993; On the Prairies, 1993; The Fifteenth Anniversary Concert, 1995; Leaving Inverarden, 1996; Muskoka'sCalling, 1996; Thirteen, 1997; Blankets of Snow, 1998. (14 in all)

Solo children's albums: No Grownups Allowed, 1985; Bouncy Bouncy, 1987; Songs For Kids, 2000

With David Archibald: Jim and Dave's Awesome Environmental Adventure, 1990; Jim and Dave's Awesome Search For the Golden Toad, 1992; Jim and Dave's Awesome Supernatural Camping Adventure, 1993.


FILM:

"Mining For Gold" is featured in the John Sayles film "Silver City" (2004) starring Kris Kristoferson, Daryl Hannah, and Richard Dreyfuss. "Piece of The King" is in the new feature documentary "The Faithful" released in the U.S. summer 07. Produced "Breaking The Mask" 2001 30 minute film about Mental Health Issues


THEATRE WORK:

2010: Play in development with Blythe Festival about Huron County Farmers and Climate Change
2008-9- Collaborator with Tanya Williams in THE WARMER Project: site-specific and Playback theatre productions around the Kitchener-Waterloo Guelph area at the Living Earth Festival, the Unhinged Festival, the Non-Violence Festival and SpOtlight On The Arts.
2007- playwright/director/producer/actor "Tryst and Snout" debuted at Guelph's River Run Centre. (based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream)
2007- collaborated with Tanya Williams and Andy Houston on the "Warmer Project" research and development stage with OAC assistance.
2006 - Playwright/director/ producer/actor "City Hall Follies" Guelph Youth Music Centre
2003-2007- annual productions of "Hardscrabble Road", folk opera. Playwright/director/producer/actor- Toronto, Guelph, Kitchener, Brampton
2005- Musical Director/composer "Jealous River" in Tonbridge England. Community Play, Claque THeatre
2004- Musical Director "A Gift Of Time" Community Play by Dale Hamilton, Guelph 2004- dramaturge/director "Two Steps And A Glass Of Water" River Run Centre, Guelph
2003- "Kickapoo Medicine Show" director/playwright/actor. River Run Centre, Guelph
2002- "CJOY Old Tyme Radio Hour" director/playwright/actor River Run Centre, Guelph
Member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada


TELEVISION:

"Song of Our City"- CTV regional television special, 2002 with Tamarack- Guests on CBC Superspecial, 1985. Frequent guests on Global series TROUPERS- 1986. Produced, wrote and starred in TAMARACK ONTHE RIDEAU, CBC network special, 1989. Global Television special "TAMARACK'S ONTARIO"1992. TAMARACK ON THE GRAND, CBC, 1996. Global news. CTV's LIVE IT UP and W5.
• Wrote and performed theme music for CTV series THE LAST FRONTIER.
• Wrote, produced and directed "WE BUILT ONTARIO", documentary educational video, 1988. Wrote and recorded soundscape for numerous other educational videos, 1988-1995. JIM AND DAVE'S AWESOME ENVIRONMENTAL ADVENTURE, educational video, 1991. Composed and performed soundscore for "THE RIVERLANDS", educational video, 1992. Composed and performed soundscore for Communities in Bloom Video, City Of Guelph, 2001 Produced "Breaking the Mask: Exploring Mental Illness through the Arts" 2001 RADIO: Regular contributor to CBC's ONTARIO MORNING, BASIC BLACK as resident songwriter, 1998-2002
• host of own weekly radio show on CFRU, 1987-1990. Many appearances on national CBC including MORNINGSIDE, VICKI GABEREAU, FRESH AIR, PERFORMANCE, THE ENTERTAINERS, TOUCH THE EARTH, FROM THE FESTIVALS, SIMPLY FOLK, PRIME TIME, Murray Maclachlan's SWINGING ON A STAR.


LIVE CONCERTS:

Toured Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Great Britain, U.S. and across Canada solo.
• singer/ banjo player with MAPLE SUGAR, 1975-1980- toured across Canada and throughout the U.S.
• Singer, instrumentalist, (guitar,banjo, keyboard, penny whistle, recorder, trumpet, bodrhan, harmonica, accordion) with TAMARACK- 1977- 1999. Many national regional and American tours. Tour of Great Britain, 1998.
• Hundreds of solo children's concerts across country since 1985.
• Baritone soloist with numerous Ontario choirs, 1974-1977. JAMES GORDON BAND- many appearances since 1987. Toured with MUDDY YORK, 1986 800 nation-wide performances of JIM AND DAVE"S AWESOME ADVENTURES since 1990. Composed "GREMLINS IN THE STEEPLES, a children's symphonic work with story by Robert Munsch- debuted by Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in 1993 at Guelph Spring Festival. Appeared with Tamarack in a special concert with the Thunder Bay Symphony, 1995, and arranged three original works for the orchestra. Solo performer since 1999--and as a duo with Sandy Horne, many appearances across North America. and Great Britain. "Songs Of Hope" tours... USA - 2002-2004-- Over thirty U.S. cities with a special concert dealing with mental health issues. Touring since 2007 as "James Gordon and Sons" with Evan and Geordie Gordon.


MISCELLANEOUS:

Arts Administration: board of directors, Guelph Spring Festival, 1975-1981. Artistic Director, Hillside Festival of Guelph, 1985-1988. Artistic Director, Canadian Songwriter's Festival, 2000-2001 Board of Directors, Ontario Council of Folk Festivals, 1999-2001 partner in SGB PRODUCTIONS, 1980-1999 proprietor of Pipe Street Publishing, 1999. Founder- GAP-- Guelph Arts Platform, 2009

Community Activism: President, Guelph Civic League. 2004-2007. Chairman, Family Mental Health Network, 2000-2004. Board of Directors, Men's Help Line, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Assoc., Community Action Fund; co-founder "Wellington Water Watchers".

BOOKS: "The Highway And I"-- audio book, 2007. JIM AND DAVE'S AWESOME ENVIRONMENTAL ADVENTURE, Golden Books, 1991 by James Gordon and David Archibald The Tamarack Songbook- 1996 - by James Gordon and Alex Sinclair. "Pipe Street Songbook" 2009

Work in the Mental Health Field: Founding Chair- Family Mental Health Network, 2000. Produced "Breaking the Mask" film about Mental Health issues, 2001. Produced "One In Five" CD featuring songs based on Mental Health themes for NAMI in the U.S. Produced "Healing Embers", songs written and perfomed by Mental Health Survivors, 2006, with Spark Of Brilliance. "Songs of Hope" tour of U.S. with songs and dialogue at mental health drop-in-centres, 2004. Directed "Two Steps And A Glass of Water" full-length play about mental health issues, River Run Centre Guelph, 2007

Awards: 2008 Mayor's Award for Community Service to Guelph ON


Music