It's lucky Episode #7...our longest conversation with a guest to date - and boy, do we cover a lot of ground!
February is Black History Month and our guest this time is the inimitable John West, Music/Choral Director & Organist at Hollywood United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. Host Thompson Howell refers to John as a "multi-talented poly-hyphenate" due to the breadth and variety of John's career as an organist, composer, teacher, and studio session singer for Film and TV.
John shares his thoughts on the past year and how he focuses most on the things within his control. He also talks about his organ origin story while growing up in Oakland and his time studying with Richard Purvis at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco; playing the Poulenc organ concerto in high school; why being turned down by Juilliard turned out to be a good thing; how he learned to embrace different musical styles and genres and why they can (and have to) all exist together; why he specifically chose the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston to pursue his Masters Degree; what he learned as a songwriter and producer working at the legendary Motown Records in Los Angeles; his experience as a professional black musician working in both the classical and popular music fields; meeting Diana Ross; appearing on the organ program Pipedreams; how he's handled the music program at HUMC during the pandemic; the recent rebuilding and expansion of the 1929 Casavant organ there; and much more!
Listen at LAAGO.org...or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Read John's latest bio here.
John's website is here.
John's YouTube channel is here.
John's professional Facebook page is here.
The LA AGO YouTube channel is here.
The LA AGO Facebook page is here.