Have you listened to Blues from the Vault, (Part One), the latest album recorded by Brookdale alumni and Professor Jim Josselyn? Jim first came to Brookdale after graduating from Shore Regional High School when he was unsure what he wanted to do next. While at Brookdale, he took piano lessons, really liked the communications program and especially the radio station, and received his Associate degree in Humanities. It was at Brookdale that to his surprise he discovered he could major in music! With his degree from Brookdale, he easily was able to transfer to Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of The Arts to obtain a bachelor’s degree and after that, he obtained his Master’s degree in Music Performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, City University of New York.
A friend of his brought him back to Brookdale to play in the big jazz band. For many years Brookdale had a big jazz band with a singer and 20 instruments and Jim played the guitar in it. He said, “A friend of mine was playing the drums in the band. I had just gotten my master’s degree and Joe Accurso a professor in the music department at Brookdale who founded the band asked me to play. He also offered me some teaching opportunities and I took him up on that.”
Jim said the two turning points in his early development was mastering “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and Jimi Hendrix. “Jimi Hendrix’s music inspired me the most and was pivotal to my career.”
He has many accomplishments, in addition to owning The School of Music and Drama in Little Silver, Jim has written for Downbeat Magazine, Acoustic Guitar, Cadence Magazine, Jazz Improv, All About Jazz, The Newark Star-Ledger, New Jersey Magazine, The Asbury Park Press, and many more. He just started writing for a website called Culture Sonar, and he has written a book on guitarist Joe Pass for Hal Leonard publishing.
He has created over 400 pieces of music, rock, blues, rhythm in blues, many genres, and styles. His music has been on over 40 TV shows including MTV, PBS, E!, Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel, and TLC. He has recorded commercials for Rutgers and Delta Airlines and two Indie films. The places you may have found or will find Jim playing are in New York at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Christophers, the 55 Bar, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and in New Jersey at The NJPAC, Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues, Monmouth Park, and Red Bank and Asbury Park Jazz festivals.
This past summer Jim taught an Introduction to Song Writing class at Brookdale and this past fall semester he taught Intro to Music Appreciation. This master musician said, “I am happy to share music with anyone who is interested and if they are serious about it, I will give them everything I have.”
The best advice he received was from his professor Rodney Jones when he was studying one summer at the Manhattan School of Music, “follow your heart, you’ll know the thing to do, you will feel it.” Jim has studied with a list of amazing musicians and has performed with more. Taking his professor’s advice, he got his guys together in a studio to make his latest album, Blues from the Vault. He is performing with Kyle Kohler on the organ and Noel Sagerman on the drums. All the songs were composed by Jim, you can feel the heart.