Cape Breton singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist J.P. Cormier has spent most of his life on the road, playing thousands of shows and spending months at a time on tour. Earlier this year he announced that he’d be taking a break from that life to concentrate on his craft and explore what made him want to be a traveling musician in the first place: the study and perfection of actually playing and producing music. For J.P. Cormier though, taking a break certainly doesn’t mean slowing down. That break has lead to this weekend’s release of a new record, the opening of a music school next week, and the launch of an interactive website to connect with his fans worldwide.
“After thirty years of touring it is with great pleasure that I have settled in Sydney and will now be able to fill a request I’ve received thousands of times over the years: to share my knowledge and love of music with others,” says Cormier about the opportunity to open a music school.
J.P. Cormier School of Strings is set to open July 5. Located on the second floor at 276 Charlotte Street in Sydney, in the East Side Arts Academy, the school will be offering lessons in guitar, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, bass and songwriting.
“I welcome all comers, young and old, from beginner to master,” Cormier says. “I will impart everything I can to make you a better, more confident player.” Students under the age of 12 will be required to pass a short aptitude test. Lessons are available by the hour for all instruments and songwriting. They can be purchased in packages of 3, 5, or 10 lessons. For more information or to register call (902) 539-2758.
Before the School of Strings opens, however, Cormier has a new album ready to be heard. Somewhere in the Back of My Heart will be released on Friday, June 29 at the Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso. The brand new collection of songs tells tales of love, loss, joy, and remembrance. The new album presents the songs in a fresh new environment with an older, wiser, more mature storyteller, getting back to basics with smart production and fewer frills. This album will impress old fans and make new ones all the way through.
“J.P. Cormier is one of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with,” says veteran award-winning producer and engineer Jamie Foulds at Soundpark Studios, where Cormier recorded the majority of Somewhere in the Back of My Heart. “His musicianship simply defies description and his songwriting transports you instantly into a world of his choosing. Even after more than 10 years, he can still blow me away.”
Somewhere in the Back of My Heart can be ordered at Cormier’s new website, jp-cormier.com, where more information is available about the album and the School of Strings. J.P.’s back catalogue and other exclusive content is also available on the site in a new members area.