John Nilsen is an accomplished pianist, guitarist, songwriter, lyricist and vocalist. He has shared his message through music and narration at many Methodist churches throughout the country.
He will be leading us for worship with “The Word in Music”, in a virtual service which will be posted on YouTube Sunday, January 30th at 9:30 am. On the YouTube website search for “Loomis First United Methodist” to view the video. Please join us and be inspired by John’s uplifting message and music.
John Nilsen Short Bio 2021
John Nilsen was born in Seattle, Washington in 1956. The Nilsen family moved to Portland, Oregon, USA in 1960. Nilsen began studying classical piano from his mother at age six. Continuing his musical education, he began playing guitar at age fourteen. John moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1974 to attend Southern Oregon College (Southern Oregon University). Nilsen graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and was honored by the institution in 1995 in recognition of his outstanding achievements, dedicated efforts and leadership in the field of the performing arts with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the most prestigious award bestowed upon Southern Oregon University graduates. An accomplished pianist, guitarist, songwriter, lyricist and vocalist, Nilsen was also chosen to be a Deering Banjo Artist in 2016.
Nilsen founded the Magic Wing recording label in 1987. The label has a catalog of eighteen successful titles, each with international distribution. Before founding Magic Wing, John recorded three successful solo piano records on LA’s, Eagle Records from 1983 to 1985. He has released seventeen on his own Magic Wing label with fifteen other CDs licensed in countries including Germany, Great Britain, The Philippines, Canada, Taiwan and Singapore bringing reported total record sales to well over one million copies sold. Very few independent recording artists claim such success. Having performed in Europe, Asia and all fifty U.S. States countless times, John Nilsen has two hundred and fifty of his compositions and musical arrangements receiving BMI royalties world wide. Foreign Films, the newest and 20th Nilsen recording, was released August 23, 2019 and emphasizes Nilsen’s superb piano compositions with orchestral backing. Several piano solos sit alongside others with a string quartet providing backing. All eighteen tracks make the listener feel as though they’re listening to a motion picture soundtrack. Foreign Films was an instant classic. Sessions for the forthcoming John Nilsen will begin in April, 2021.
Like each of the past thirty years, John played two hundred and forty performances until Covid-19 hit in 2020. Nilsen splits his performances between touring internationally as an in demand pianist combining elements of classical, folk and jazz, performing with the John Nilsen Trio, featuring Jeff Leonard/bass and Jason Moore/percussion (which has toured internationally), and with John’s guitar/vocal rock band, John Nilsen & SWIMFISH, featuring Dave Captein/bass, Mike Snyder/drums, percussion, Bob Logue/ guitar, vocals and Don Woodward/guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals. SWIMFISH includes John’s piano, but features his acoustic and electric guitar playing tucked into and soaring above a bed of a uniquely great supporting cast.
John has given back to his community by teaching songwriting residencies and speaking to students in schools throughout the country, and locally including every school in the West Linn/Wilsonville School District over the past twenty-five years.
A short video of John performing in concert is available here.