Jimi started playing the drums in 1980. Before that, he simply played the snare drum in the school band. In 1985, Jimi took a bold step and joined the Air Force. He played in a rock band in the military, and just like high school played events and parties. His band Critical Force even played “The Strip” in Hollywood. All of this work landed them a recording contract with Barracuda Records. Unfortunately, because he still had a year and a half on his military contract, the record deal fell through. While stationed in California, he had the opportunity to play the bigger clubs and develop contacts that he would use when he was to be discharged from the military. In 1989, he left the military and moved to Orange County. There he was involved in two bands: Strength in Numbers, and Rockabye. Both were hard-rock / metal bands. He even did a short studio gig with Loren Black, original bassist of Great White. In addition, he was going to college to pursue a degree in business. However, in 1992, Denver’s appeal was too much and he moved back to Colorado. At that point he decided to finish his degree at the University of Colorado.
While going to school, Jimi started to teach drum lessons and played in local bands to make a living. He received a scholarship and minored in music while earning his Bachelors of Science in International Business in 1996.
Guitar & Bass Lessons
A few months later, he used his degree to start the Colorado Drum Institute. In no time at all, his business grew to over 100 students. At that time he decided to hire more help. After 6 years the Colorado Drum Institute grew to include Guitar, Bass and Keyboards. When he sold the business it had 13 employees, 7 studios, and endorsements from very reputable companies such as Vic Firth, D’Addario, Evans drum heads, and Zildjian.
Published Author of Three Drum Books
Jimi has also written three drum books. One is a rhythm reading book, The Musician’s Guide to Common Rhythms. The second is an innovative independence system for the drum set. The third, and probably his most prolific work, is the 140 page Double Bass book. Everything someone needs for double bass is in this book. He is currently working on another rhythm reading book to include studies in odd-meter, rolls, and other miscellaneous teaching material.
Tour of Italy
In 1999, Jimi had the opportunity to play for the Pope during Christmas Mass at the Vatican through the church group Musicians of St. Claire. This group played a number of gigs in Denver, and then went on a tour of Italy. Starting off in Milan, they generally completed a big circle going through Venice, Florence, Assisi, and then Rome and the Vatican. Playing for the Pope and his immediate staff was probably the biggest performance that Jimi has ever given.