John Nilsen in concert

The RoxyAnn Summer Concert Series will present an evening with recording artist and multi-instrumentalist John Nilsen performing his original compositions on solo grand piano. Nilsen's concert will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, July 11, at the winery, 3285 Hillcrest Rd., Medford.

Nilsen attended Southern Oregon University in Ashland and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In 1995 the university presented him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Nilsen began studying classical piano from his mother at age six. Continuing his musical education, he began playing guitar at 14. A frequent performer in the Rogue Valley, Nilsen founded the Magic Wing independent recording label in 1987. The label has a catalog of 13 titles, all having international distribution.

Nilsen's 16th CD on Magic Wing, "John Nilsen and Swimfish," is a collection of 12 original songs featuring acoustic guitar and rich vocal harmonies with folk-rock appeal. For the CD, Nilsen served as guitarist, pianist, vocalist, composer and co-producer. Nilsen also has had recordings released in Germany, Taiwan, Philippines, Great Britain and Singapore.

Guitarist Guthrie Thomas is credited with launching Nilsen's career nearly 24 years ago by inviting the young musician to record on his Eagle Records label.

Nilsen gives more than 200 performances annually including national tours of the United States, Great Britain and Japan, often accompanied by musicians from the Northwest.

In a press release Nilsen says, "As a performer, I like exploring beyond the boundaries of my recorded songs. It gives me the chance to offer something special, spontaneous and personal to my audience. The entire performance hinges on the connection not only between the players, but with the audience as well."

Nilsen has appeared with such performers as Jose Feliciano, Jesse Colin Young, Kenny G, Alex De Grassi and David Foster. His recordings are featured on more than 40 musical collections and samplers throughout the globe, including a Rhino Records Sampler.

Extensive radio play has been adding more listeners to Nilsen's ever-growing audience. As Chicago radio personality Rick O'Dell of WNUA says, "John is one of our show's most requested and talked about artists."

RoxyAnn Winery presents music from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday evening at its Twilight Music Series. The series features an eclectic blend of music styles from classical to jazz and acoustic. The winery also presents Sunday Afternoon Music in the Garden from noon to 2 p.m. every Sunday afternoons featuring regional and touring artists.

Tickets to the John Nilsen RoxyAnn concert are $25. Wine and refreshments are available.

Call 776-2315.

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