Tim Tamashiro bio

Tim Crossed Arms FEB. 2016.jpg


Tim Tamashiro grew up in tiny community called Blackfalds, Alberta. At that time it was a very small village of a thousand citizens. Being a "different" kid in a small town presented both challenges and opportunities. Tim was “a different” by circumstance. He and his brother were the only Japanese kids. So he figured he might as well take full advantage of it. He took up trapeze, unicycle and the role of class clown. He was a little weird.

He also took up piano. At home his family had a small brown parlour piano. Tim would plunk away at the piano figuring out songs of the day like “We’ve Only Just Begun” and the theme song to ”M*A*S*H”. His mom put Tim into piano lessons. After six months of lessons mom and his piano teacher made the most important decision of Tim’s life. Tim stopped taking piano lessons. He played piano by ear and he loved it. So by NOT push theory and heavy practice down his throat Tim’s love of music roamed free.

It wasn’t until after high school that Tim chose music as one of his life's missions. The decision came to him like a bolt of lightning. His choice popped into his head the second he woke up. He sat up straight in his narrow single bed and thought to himself, “I’m going to music school”. Within a few days he had arranged for an audition for Red Deer College. His audition was fun and musical… there was only one problem. Tim knew nothing about music. Over the summer he learned basic music theory and got accepted into Red Deer College in 1986.

After two rewarding years at RDC, Tim had co-founded a local rock band called “The Mile High Club”. He also started to work in music retail at HMV.

Soon Tim landed a job in Edmonton as a representative for MCA Records. It was the coolest job ever. He sold millions of dollars of music, got to hang out with rock stars and went to record stores every day. It was a dream job. On top of that Tim was singing jazz standards with The Jump Orchestra. It was heaven. He thought he had found his calling in the music business. But he fell in love, quit his job and moved to Calgary.

In Calgary Tim pursued his passion of playing music full time. He joined a local jazz group called The Swinging Bovines. Each weekend he would croon with the Bovines. In 1995 Tim branched out on his own to record his debut album called “Wiseass Crooner”. Soon Tim was touring throughout Canada promoting the album. His next albums came in 1999. He recorded a special holiday album called “Love at Christmas” for La Senza Lingerie. The album sold at their stores across Canada. That sales and marketing job at MCA had paid off.

Calgary has always been a place where jazz is welcome at special events. Tim began to specialize as an entertainer at events for business and world leaders. He’s sung for prime ministers and royalty. He ever got to perform for Queen Elizabeth. Jazz turned out to be a pretty good business. So Tim concentrated on singing and MC’ing events for the next 20 years. Then CBC came calling.

CBC was looking for a new host for the launch of the “new” CBC Radio 2. They were looking for a new host for an yet unnamed jazz show that would be on six nights a week. They had heard about Tim’s delivery style and believed that he could host a show with jazz music for all Canadians. Tim jumped aboard for a four month trial period for the weekend edition of the new show Tonic.

After 10 years with CBC Tim departed from CBC to explore more. He sings and tells stories. He hosts a regular talk show called Handshake on Facebook Live and Youtube.

Tim lives in Calgary with his wife and two children. He supports The Calgary Food bank, Cancer charities and daily acts of kindness.