Musical Biography of James Lowry

Jim has been playing music professionally since he was fifteen years old. Jim worked with the eclectic Pacific Northwest group Notary Sojac in which he played fretted and fretless bass guitar and acoustic bass viol. Notary Sojac has became a legendary name in the Northwest because of its pioneering direction in combining Rock, Jazz, and Blues elements with influences of the Gypsy swing music of Django Reinhart, odd time signatures, and a strong improvisational emphasis. The group exclusively played all original compositions and opened for major acts like The Grateful Dead, Earth Wind and Fire, Eric Burdon and War, Frank Zappa, Larry Coryell, Albert Collins, Charlie Musselwhite, The Climax Blues Band, and The Velvet Underground, to name a few.

As Jim matured as a bass player he began to study guitar and songwriting. His musical explorations led him to Los Angeles where he worked as a studio musician and recorded two albums on the Takoma/Chrysalis label with his group. In addition, he worked with the Soul Calypso steel drum group Montego Magic playing bass steel drums. This group included three steel drummers and two percussionists from the Caribbean and singer Christie Azumah from Ghana, Africa.

In 1984 Jim moved to Paris, France and began working with established American Blues musicians and remained in Europe for three years playing and recording music. Jim also worked with great European Blues recording artists like Patrick Verbeke, Vincent Bouché, Benoit Blue Boy, and Johan Asherton. He later formed and recorded with his own trio in Paris called The Liquid Gang. One of Jim’s special memories during that time was when he worked with seminal Blues drummer Jimmi Shutte (Luther Allison, Lonnie Brooks) and had the great fortune to play with Blues legend Luther Allison at the Baiser Sale, a hot Blues nightclub in Paris on several occasions.

After Jim returned to the States, he began studying acoustic fingerstyle guitar. This led him to two years of classical guitar study with Dr. Joseph Baldassarre at Boise State University. Jim decided to pursue a degree in Music Therapy and moved to Bellingham, Washington in 2000 and began classes in the Capilano College Music Therapy Program in Vancouver, British Colombia. Jim continued studying classical guitar privately with Ronald Rondello, Jazz guitar with Martin Howard MTA, and voice with Susan Summers MMT, MTA.

Jim graduated from Capilano College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree after completing a 1000-hour internship at Richmond Hospital in Richmond, BC and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham, Washington. In 2006 Jim moved to Salem, Oregon to work full time as a music therapist at Oregon State Hospital (OSH). After four and a half years at OSH, Jim transfered to Oregon State Hospital - Portland (OSH-P), where he currently works as a full time as a board certified music therapist (MT-BC).