Be smart. be funny. be kind.
Tim Tamashiro is passionate about living and learning. He lives by a simple philosophy: Be smart. Be funny. Be kind.
Tim grew up in Blackfalds, Alberta. At that time it was a very small village of a thousand citizens. Being a visibly different (Japanese) kid in a small town presented both challenges and opportunities. Tim was “a different” by circumstance. So he figured he might as well take full advantage of it. He was the kid who 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 promptly put Tim into piano lessons. After six months of lessons mom and his piano teacher made the most important decision of Tim’s life: to take Tim out of piano lessons. He was playing piano by ear and he loved it. So lets NOT push theory and heavy practice down his throat. Tim’s love of music was left to roam 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 one morning as he woke up. True story: An idea popped into his head the second he woke up and 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 was 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” and started to work in music retail at HMV. Soon Tim got a job in Edmonton as a representative for MCA Records. 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. But he transferred to Vancouver with MCA to become the Marketing Rep. for B.C. 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 and began to sing at a local restaurant each weekend. 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 when he recorded a special holiday album called “Love at Christmas” which he sold 20,000 copies to La Senza Lingerie to sell at their stores across the nation. That sales and marketing job at MCA had paid off.
Calgary has always been a place where jazz is welcomed at special events. Tim began to specialize as an executive 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 was hired for a four month trial period for the weekend portion of the new show Tonic.
In June 0f 2017, Tim departed from CBC to pursue a new career in singing, speaking and digital storytelling. He focuses on living and learning.
Tim lives in Calgary with his wife and two children. He supports The Calgary Food bank, Cancer charities and daily acts of kindness.