About Jim

Jim Howell is a full-time musician in Tucson, Arizona. He teaches most days of the week and performs regularly singing and playing guitar with his (original americana) group, The Jim Howell Band. He also plays guitar, bass, keys, drums, or harmonica, with one of many other bands around town (Check out this page for a schedule!) Jim's specialty is performance and private lessons for drum set. However, Jim also teaches lessons for snare drum, school percussion, a variety of other percussion instruments, piano, guitar, bass and voice. He teaches small group classes focusing upon toddler music, preschool and early elementary music, hand drums and drum circles, studio recording techniques, pop/rock band group performance and recording.

While his main stylistic influence has been Rock, Jim has a deep knowledge and appreciation of all American music genres and their rich history tracing back to Blues/Jazz/Country etc... His drumming work has veered in to Country and Roots music for the last decade. Jim believes that a solid foundation in all American styles will give a musician the depth, versatility, and confidence to play even the most contemporary musical styles. (Translation: Every drummer should learn how to play a shuffle and every musician needs to know a 12 Bar Blues progression!)


Teaching

Jim teaches all private lessons and small group classes from his custom built music studio. However since 2014 he has also implemented music education and therapy classes for children and adults with severe developmental disabilities at a private facility called Creative Care. He does that at their facilites every other week during the school year and every Thursday in the summers.  

Jim has organized, lead classes, and created the curriculum for rock band group camps for kids ages 8-18. He developed a Toddler Music program for children under age 3 and their caregiver which he has been instructing for six years now. In 2011, Jim conceived a preschool and early elementary class system called Music DRUMdamentals. This system focuses upon music concepts and movement applied to percussion and singing while providing lots of hands on (tactile) experiences and exploration of a variety of instruments on weekly rotations. During the 2014-2015 school year Jim taught his DRUMdamentals class as a Magnet elective class at Craigin Elementary School. (TUSD cut the funding for Cragin's Magnet programs in 2015/2016.)

From April of 2002 to August 2011, Jim was the principal drums and percussion instructor at all Beaver’s Band Box locations. (Unfortunately Beaver's has closed its doors permanently in 2011.) During the 2002-2003 Academic-year, Jim was the general music teacher for all grades (K-5) at Bloom Elementary (TUSD). Jim has regularly instructed group percussion and rhythmic notation theory clinics in coordination with band programs at local schools.


Performance

Three time recipient of Best Drummer (Tucson Area Music Awards), Jim is an active performing and recording musician locally, nationally, and internationally. Currently, he leads his own original country band, The Jim Howell Band, in which he tackles lead vocals and guitar live. On the 2015 debut album, Silver Clouds, he played many of the instruments while engineering and producing the whole effort in his studio.

Jim has been playing multi-instrumentalist (drums/keys/guitar/vocals/harmonica/percussion) with REY after producing thier 2015 self-titled album in his studio.  Jim is a regular on drums with  Jay Faircloth & The Loners, local ska group, The Vexmen, and frequently subs on drums in Michael P. & The Gully WashersThe Mission Creeps.

In summer of 2017 Jim accepted the position of Director Music for Contemporary Worship at St. Pauls UMC in Tucson. He also is a rotating staff musician at Desert Hills Lutheran Church, in Green Valley, as the drummer for their weekly Saturday afternoon Country Gospel worship services.


In the recent past, Jim performed extensively with Rich Hopkins and Luminarios. recording several studio releases a live DVD and touring in the US and Europe. He was a founding member of The Wyatts. (2006, 2007 and 2008 TAMMIES winners for Best Band. Jim’s drumming is featured on the upcoming studio release Giddy Up and Go!  
Jim also freelances with a diverse collection groups about town and in the studio. 


Education

In August of 2007 Jim attended Drum Fantasy 2007, a drumming clinic and conference held at Seton Hall University. At this intensive study clinic series, Jim had the opportunity to attend master classes and study hands-on with world renowned drummers and educators including Steve Smith, Dave Weckl, Horacio Hernandez, Jason Bittner, Pat Petrillo, Glenn Weber, and Jason Gianni. Jim obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Northern Arizona University, graduating Summa Cum Laude in December of 2000. Jim has continued to study music theory and performance through the excellent music program at Pima Community College and studied privately with Homero Ceron (Tucson Symphony Principal Percussionist and Pima CC instructor). He has worked with several other private percussion instructors and taken years of lessons in piano, voice, cello, and guitar.

Listen & Watch for Yourself!


Background

Jim is a third generation Tucsonan as both sides of his family settled in Tucson in the late 1930s. As a native Tucsonan Jim chose live midtown with his wife, Michelle, of 16 years and his children attend the same elementary school that Jim, his siblings, their parents and many other relatives have attended since the 1950s. Jim is graduate of Salpointe Catholic High School (1991). Although he finished college at NAU Jim is the third genration to attend the University of Arizona as his dad is a graduate of the School of Architecture, his grandfather recieved a degree in electrical engineering and his grandmother was a Pi Phi member and student in the School of Music with a emphasis in vocal performance in the early 1940s.  Jim's maternal grandparents were founding members of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Tucson and he served on its Parish Council for three years during which he was elected Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President. 

photo by Sprytime