Jim Burke | Singer Songwriter
Jim Burke’s voice is a gin-soaked, stumble-home story from your Uncle Roy…a pale-faced Louis Armstrong… and a story of the battle for life and dreams.
Burke has always written and played music. He recalls his youth jamming in parks in Montreal, balancing a 24 pack of beer, with bags of chips and a guitar on the front handle bars of a 10 speed. “The French girls would come and listen, and we would be there all day and late into the night. “That’s where I learned to really play the guitar.”
However, it wasn’t until later in life that he would put his foot forward as an artist. Most people remember when being told they had a life-threatening illness. For Burke, diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) that quickly turned acute, and recognized that he had never recorded his songs, and that it would be his one regret if his cancer progressed.
“I thought to myself: ‘You can’t die yet. You don’t have the luxury.’ I knew I couldn’t forgive myself if I never put these songs, my passion, down in a way that would last beyond just me,” Burke reflects. “I had to finish it.”
Fortunately, Burke has recovered and is now using his music to help others with a cancer diagnosis. He has been working with the Alberta Cancer Foundation to raise funds and send a message of hope to other patients.
Burke’s influences include Neil Young, the Mavericks, Texas Tornados and Johnny Winter among his many influences, but cites travel as his true muse. “My music tends to take on the colours of my surroundings. When I am in the Dominican, I will bring my guitar and jam with the locals, and end up writing a meringue. In Cuba, I’ll write a rumba. New Orleans will be Dixieland Jazz. It doesn’t matter what language you speak – everyone understands music. It may be the only universal language.”
“Diamonds” is a newly released CD of Jim Burke’s original music. The CD was released October 8th, 2015. Jim performs as a single or a trio and as a larger 6-piece band.