early years in Vienna 1964 - 1974
After finishing high school in Toronto in 1964, I moved to Austria to study at the Academy of Arts in Vienna. At the same time I formed a folk singing group called 'Jack's Angels' and we were signed to Amadeo Records, touring and recording 4 albums. Within the span of two years we gained considerable popularity before disbanding in 1968. The record label kept me on for two more albums after which I was brought on board the progressive German 'Kuckuck' label in Munich. I pursued a solo singer-songwriter career for the next 8 years, touring extensively throughout Europe and recording 5 more albums of original material. My 'Toronto' LP was recorded in London and was produced by Alexis Korner with various tracks featuring Mick Taylor (of the Stones) on slide guitar. In Vienna I composed music for 3 television children's musicals, among many other projects. With a few hits on the charts, substantial amount of media coverage, TV and radio appearances, and also hosting my own radio show 'Folk mit Jack' for ORF Austria, my following continued to grow in the Euro Pop Music scene of that time. Now 50 years later and living in Toronto once again, I return to Europe for occasional concerts.
music for children in canada & us - 1974 onwards
In 1974, together with my family, I returned to Canada. In spite of European success highlights, a shift in the Euro music industry took place and I found myself in fringe territory. I was desperately seeking closer contact with the folk/rock music scene happening in Toronto. Teaming up with bassist/producer Chad Irschick, he produced my album 'The Patience Of A Sailor' and helped me to reboot my singing career on this side of the Atlantic. We performed as a band in clubs and festivals and returned to tour in Europe several times allowing me to stay in touch with my fans. However, in the early 80's, pointers and signs were guiding me in a new direction. Our daughter's teacher invited me into the classroom to sing with the students. This led to offers to be a freelance music teacher at various Montessori schools around greater Toronto. During the course of those four years of teaching I became passionate about quality children's music and discovered a market in need of it. Building a repertoire of original children's songs and drawing on my concert performance experiences, I soon found a manager, a concert agent and eventually was signed up to the BMG Kidz Music label. I forged precious friendships with other artists, educational music consultants and music industry people who helped to develop my career as a children's performer. With Prologue To The Performing Arts welcoming me into their 'artist in schools' catalogue, I have presented my children's performances and workshops for over 30 years. This led to countless ECE teacher workshop opportunities across Canada and the US and even Cape Town SA. TV and radio appearances; major concert tours and international children's festivals followed plus a number of symphony shows for family audiences. To date I've released 16 CD's for children garnering a number of awards including 3 JUNO's. Performance highlights throughout each year are the theatre style bussed-in school concerts organized by Festival Theatre Arts.
Richer in years and experience, I am still learning and broadening my musical horizon with a variety of musical recording and performance projects, which include a brand new school show together with my younger daughter, Cosima, 'Like Father, Like Daughter'. Recently I've finished two of my own CD recordings; one for adults titled 'Stirring Up The Dust', which I promoted with live concerts in Austria, and another CD of songs for children titled 'Theatro Muppiloo'. I've been asked to mix various jazz recordings such as the Nehring, Koller, Braid trio, The Heillig Manouevre and my daughter Cosima. Recently I was invited to sing harmony on two tracks on Liona Boyd's new album 'No Remedy For Love'. One is her song about Ontario and the other is one of my compositions 'Who Knows', to which she wrote the lyrics. In June my daughter Cosima and I performed with Liona in the Toronto Jazz Festival to commemorate the Folk Music scene in Yorkville, Toronto in the 60's. I mixed another jazz project by the Heillig Manouevre, 'Thoughtful Fun' and they have graciously included one of my paintings on the CD cover. Over the summer months I have finished another CD for adults titled ‘Life Boat’ which is now available. Bussed-in school concerts, school shows and another return visit to Austria in the New Year lie on the horizon.
Alongside my musical activities I continue to pursue my art and exhibit my works regularly, taking on commissions from private collectors and commercial clients. Visit my CV of past exhibitions by clicking here. Exhibitions