Jimmy Sommers is an American country music singer, songwriter and record producer. He has released a total of nine albums including seven studio albums on major record labels such as Curb Records, RCA Nashville, Universal Music Group Nashville.
“Jimmy Sommers Biography, Songs, & Albums | Ondrej Sustr” is a biography of Jimmy Sommers. The bio includes his songs and albums.
Jimmy Sommers, a smooth jazz saxophonist, had a Top 20 NAC (New Adult Contemporary) song with the title tune from his first album, James Cafe.
When he was in fourth grade, the Mt. Prospect, IL native selected the alto saxophone as his instrument of choice on “instrument day,” despite not knowing what it was. His debut recording was with the MacArthur Junior High School jazz band as a featured performer. He used to sneak into adjacent Chicago nightclubs like Kingston Mines with false IDs to play with blues artists when he was a teenager. Sommers started directing his own band while attending Southern Illinois University on a music performance scholarship. For a Chicago Bulls game, he was asked to play the “Star Spangled Banner” at center court. Sommers performed for the athletes at the Olympic Village during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Sommers graduated from Southern Illinois University with an industrial engineering degree a semester early so he could go to Los Angeles and follow his passion quicker.
He remixed songs for Chaka Khan, George Clinton, Boyz II Men, 2Pac, DJ Quik, Wyclef Jean, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers in Los Angeles. Sommers began modeling to supplement his income, appearing on the cover of a Harlequin romance book and gaining a tiny part as Marcus on the CBS network serial opera The Young and the Restless.
Sommers worked for the Leo Burnett Advertising Agency in Chicago for a short time, creating ads for big-name clients including Disney and Miller Lite. Sommers was motivated to apply the same rigor to his music after being in charge of the graphics and music for those advertisements, as well as bringing everything in on time and on budget. His music remained a priority, culminating in his going to the south of France and Asia to head a band that comprised Simple Minds drummer Mel Gaynor, George Michael’s bassist Deon Estus, and Tina Turner’s pianist Kenny Moore. The band played shows all across Europe, including one for Princess Stephanie.
Frustrated with the A&R people at the major labels, Sommers used his own money to start up his own record label, Gemini Records. He wanted the sound and vibe of his first CD to be a combination of ’70s soul and ’90s production sheen. After being impressed with the solo debut of Eric Benet, True to Myself, and meeting him backstage after a concert, Sommers made the trek from Chicago to Milwaukee to talk to Benet and his cousin/producer George Nash Jr. about working with him on his premier release. Convincing the pair to work on spec, Sommers began work on his first album.
Sommers was invited to a Christmas party at the Malibu estate of hair-care billionaire John Paul DeJoria after the release of the CD James Cafe, where he sat at the bar next to singer Rod Stewart. Sommers played a couple tracks with Stewart during the gathering. Sommers was summoned to a meeting with DeJoria a few weeks later. DeJoria purchased 150,000 copies of a James Cafe sampling CD, which was included in gift boxes of DeJoria’s Paul Mitchell shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer. The “Sommers Treat” bundle was purchased by 81,000 salons throughout the globe. Sommers was able to get a distribution contract with Universal Music a short time thereafter. 360 Urban Groove, released by Higher Octave in 2001, was his follow-up.