Oregon pianist, guitarist, composer, lyricist, singer and entertainer John Nilsen returns to Longview for a 6 p.m. solo piano concert July 23 at Longview United Methodist Church, 2851 30th Ave., Longview.
In November 2021, Nilsen was chosen Yamaha Signature Piano Artist. It has performed in all 50 states of the United States. He has also performed in Europe and Asia and has sold over a million CDs worldwide.
Born in Seattle in 1956, Nilsen and his family moved to Portland in 1960. At age 6, he began studying classical piano with his mother. At 14, he began to play the guitar. In 1974 he moved to Ashland, Oregon to attend Southern Oregon College (Southern Oregon University). He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In 1995, he received the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. The award is the most prestigious awarded to SOU graduates.
People also read…
From 1983 to 1985, Nilsen recorded three hit solo piano records on Eagle Records in Los Angeles.
In 1987, Nilsen founded the Magic Wing recording label which has a catalog of 18 hit tracks, each with international distribution, according to Nilsen’s biography.
Worldwide, 250 of his musical compositions and arrangements receive royalties from Broadcast Music Inc.
His 20th CD, Foreign Films, released August 2019, focuses on Nilsen’s piano compositions with orchestral accompaniment. Several piano solos have a string quartet backup. The 18 tracks are intended to give listeners the feeling of listening to a movie soundtrack.
Nilsen is currently recording his 21st CD.
It played 240 performances each of the 30 years before COVID-19 hit in 2020.
Nilsen splits his performances between international tours and performances with the John Nilsen Trio with Jeff Leonard on bass and Jason Moore on percussion; and with his guitar/vocal rock band John Nilsen and SWIMFISH featuring Dave Captein on bass, Mike Snyder on drums and percussion, Bob Logue on guitar and vocals, and Don Woodward on guitar, mandolin, harmonica and vocals.
According to Nilsen’s biography, SWMFISH includes Nilsen’s piano playing and features his acoustic and electric guitar playing.
He was a member of Ten Grands, created by Oregon musician, songwriter and pianist Michael Allen Harrison as a platform to benefit music education and the play it forward program.
Nilsen also gives back to his community.
For the past 25 years he has taught songwriting residencies and spoken to students at schools including every school in the West Linn/Wilsonville School District in Oregon and throughout the country.
Contact Nancy Edwards at 360-577-2544 or email@example.com.