JIMI YAMAGISHI


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Jimi is a songwriter, performer, DJ, and guitar tech who was born & raised in East Los Angeles.   Jimi’s cross-cultural influences from teriyaki to tortillas have given him a broader perspective & appreciation for the world around him.
 After an epiphany in 1970, he began playing guitar & singing at church.  Not being satisfied with the traditional hymns & folksongs available, Jimi began to write his own songs & started his own band to sing them. This band, “Inspirit”, was well received & played up & down the California coast.
 Gathering up a few friends to record the first project for JEMS Music Ministries, the Revelation band was formed, & performed new original material almost every weekend for two solid years, & provided several tracks for a subsequent JEMS project, including Jimi’s own “Smile Song”.
 Jimi was then asked to fill in as a temporary bass player for “Everlasting” due to his reputation as a multi-instrumentalist & session musician, which led to his taking over most of the songwriting & arranging duties, which in turn led to headlining large events & venues, & releasing two albums.


 

During this time, Jimi’s growing reputation as a luthier & guitar tech was also keeping him busy, as the owner of Performance Guitar in Hollywood. With famous & respected clients like Johnny Graham (Earth Wind & Fire), Gerry Beckley (America) & Jane Wiedlin (GoGos) he soon became a fixture on the secular music scene as well, providing personal service that brought him into the greenrooms & parties of the industry’s major power players. Seeing firsthand how difficult the industry could be for those just starting out, he began researching the entire process, helping to produce, engineer & record Everlasting’s second project, & seeking new marketing avenues as well.

 


In 1985 Jimi bowed out of his guitar business & joined TASCAM as a product specialist, assisting end users with applications of professional recording gear, & to provide more security for his family, while working as an engineer, tech & producer for smaller labels on the side, and partnering in a DJ company as well, becoming a respected turntablist and remixer in the process.


 

In April of 2000, Linda Geleris, founder of the Songwriters Network, passed the reins of the organization to Jimi.  SongNet has grown to a virtual roster of over 60,000 members, with an active local membership of over 400, currently having regular meetings & showcases @ The Coffee Gallery in Altadena. 
Jimi is a songwriter advocate, journalist, motivational speaker & someone who knows the importance of knowing people for who they are, not for what they can do for you. In this day & age of virtual reality, The SongNet is a welcome respite from the world of WAV files & Mp3's, where songwriters of all levels can find encouragement & a warm hug while improving their craft & meeting the people that can really make a difference in their careers.

With decades in music on both sides of the glass, he understands what it means to be a songwriter & artist, along with the realities of owning an independent record label as well. Jimi’s committed to bringing together industry & community, 'cuz he knows every song has value & needs to be heard.

 

At Jimi’s invitation, Cat Cohen has been a guest speaker and song critiquer at SongNet.  They are both regulars at songwriting events like Taxi.com’s Road Rally.

 

You can find more information about Jimi at www.jimiyamagishi.com and www.myspace.com/guitaryoda.   

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