Jim Turner: One Hot Musician
by: Lynn Matsuoka
The Southampton Press
WHO is Jim Turner?
He is a star, hiding out in the Hamptons.
A musician, bandleader, solo performer, guitarist, professionally endorsed harmonica player, recording artist, a singer/songwriter, (deep breath) with Broadway & off-Broadway credits, and a really nice guy.
He is also an authorized arts’n education presenter which means he offers concerts and programs in schools. Under “Very Cool for Kids,” he offers “Jam with Jim,” an interactive participatory kids rock concert at parties and schools! Jim loves to teach, but accepts only a few select private students. He says, “What I give to them I get to share.”
But who is HE?
Formerly a competitive swimmer, now he swims just for relaxation. Jim lived, worked, learned and studied professionalism
at serious levels in New York City. He discovered what it is like at the top being there 24/7. He moved to the Hamptons from NYC in the 80’s to be in the countryside. But like many of us living in the Hamptons, he felt it was time to get back to “water, air, sky, sand, and God.” Also like many Hamptonites, he held on to his NYC apt for years “like an umbilical cord.” But it got heavy, and he finally cut loose when he was ready.
Jim Turner’s musical work didn’t change though. He continues doing what he was doing, working here and in NYC as gigs come up.
Jim started out as “a pretty good musician” at 14 and kept on growing, looking for new music, expanding his style. He doesn’t look back to other times as the good days, but considers NOW the coolest.
He will tell you that he basically plays rock & roll, which is really a hybrid including all world styles. It is blue grass, country and gospel, blues+spanish, reggae, ska, standards, samba, and a lot more. And Jim can do them all. WOW! As we talked he whipped out his harmonica and, stamping on the floor for the beat, put on the best hambone concert you can imagine!
Jim came from what he describes as an ‘erudite white culture’; an old Victorian family, his grandfather owned prime NYC real estate. Father was a Yale man who became a legendary trumpet player whose day job was on Wall St, but whose heart was with his performing and his collection of early New Orleans Jazz recordings.
That was Jim’s influence and he is still working off that, accessing that whole hierarchy of culture and style. Born in NYC, he grew up in Northport, NY, going away at an early age as he had the wandering blues....