Jim Wann - Singer and Composer

Jim Wann, chief composer and leading man for Broadway's (Tony-nominated, Best Musical) Pump Boys and Dinettes, is a music and theatre artist whose work has been performed across America and around the world.     

A Morehead Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, Jim graduated with Honors in Writing and formed a music club with friends, Cat's Cradle.  He migrated to New York City with his first show (co-author, Bland Simpson), Diamond Studs: The Life Of Jesse James, A Saloon Musical , a hit off-Broadway (NY Times: "Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!"), and a pioneering work for actor-musicians from the '70's to the present. 

Pump Boys and Dinettes (Jim Wann, John Foley, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, Mark Hardwick, John Schimmel) began off-Broadway and then ran 577 performances on Broadway; was a Tony and Drama Desk nominee for Best Musical; an Olivier nominee for Best Musical in London's West End; won Canada's Dora Award for Best Musical; and became the longest-running musical in Chicago theatre history.  It has toured the USA, the UK, Europe, South Africa, Korea, Australia and the Czech Republic.  In 2014 came a notable revival in New York for City Center's Encores Series (NY Times: "Hums along like a vintage Mustang"); and in April 2016 an innovative production triumphed at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse, in a season that saw Paper Mill win the Tony award for Regional Theatre.  

Jim's off-Broadway and regional successes include King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running: Songs and Stories of the Carolina Coast (Simpson & Wann, Don Dixon, Jake Mills), with a long track record in support of the environment and the arts;  and The People Vs. Mona: A Musical Mystery Screwball Comedy, Patricia Miller, co-author (NY Times: "A diverting musical confection"). 

Along the way, in addition to original cast recordings, he has sung on two albums of his original songs and one of Johnny Mercer's; hosted Farmer's Almanac TV on PBS and judged the American Traditions Competition for aspiring singers in Savannah ; and continued to play nightclubs, concert halls, churches, benefits and special events.  His song cycle for string quartet and baritone was commissioned by the Carolina Chamber Music Festival, and the American Theatre Wing featured his song "Mr. Broadway" in a gala tribute to Hal Prince.  Coming up: a concert for Doctors Without Borders.  Jim lives with his wife Patricia in the Hudson Valley, NY, and on Tybee Island, GA, with three silly dogs and a fine fat cat.

 

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