Pianist Jim Hendricks comes to Rockton: 55,000 notes per concert


Pianist Jim Hendricks will be performing Sunday, September 4, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. at the Rockton United Methodist Church, 102 W. Chapel Street, Rockton IL. Everyone is welcome to come and listen. He has made sixteen piano recordings, performed on ABC, CBS, TBN and PAX, competed in several international piano competitions, was a featured orchestral soloist performing the piano music of Rachmaninoff, and was granted a music professorship by the age of twenty-five. His arrangements and compositions range from classical to jazz to gospel.

Even as a child in Sycamore IL, Jim grabbed the attention of musicians and family members with his uncanny ability to play anything he heard on records and memorize the printed music that came across the family’s piano. His father was an economics professor. Jim was able to transcribe complex music by ear without the use of a piano while still in grammar school. He continued intensive musical studies and while still in his teens was recognized as a professional. 

After high school, Jim performed with such legends as Della Reese, Rita Moreno, Tito Puente, Maynard Ferguson, Jack Jones, Louie Bellson, Clark Terry, Arturo Sandoval, John Davidson, Jon Faddis, and many others. Dave Brubeck once played a piano duet with him and remains one of his favorite musicians. Jim even toured with the leading swing dance band of 1939-1942, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, though Jim joined it more than fifty years after it was re-formed following Miller's death.

While Jim was on tour with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Jim felt a strong call from the Lord to use his musical gifts for the glory of God. Already being a dedicated Christian for many years, he knew it was time to follow his calling into Christian ministry. Since then, Jim has performed approximately 1,400 Christian piano concerts in churches across the land, including several appearances at the former Crystal Cathedral. He is the author of the book Contemporary Arrangements for Today’s Church Pianist, and has been featured in the Clavier piano journal.

Jim Hendricks playing in Budapest, Hungary

Jim teaches piano, jazz piano, piano accompaniment, and music appreciation at Chicago State University. Songwriter Otis Skillings said that Jim "plays with speed and accuracy that could be mistaken as computer-generated!" In a full length concert, Jim plays approximately 55,000 notes.

After Jim broke his left arm in a 1997 accident, he managed not to cancel any concerts, though his golf swing was affected. Instead, as one of his musical colleagues explained to me, Jim recorded some of the left hand parts using his right hand. Then, during concerts, Jim played back the recording of the left hand parts, while he played the right hand parts live.

Jim also enjoys writing fiction and poetry, golfing, studying finance and economics, and composing contemporary classical and jazz music. As an actor, he appeared in three episodes of the hit TV series ER, several films, and 30 stage dramas. His friends call him Jimmy, not to be confused with electric guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

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