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BIOGRAPHY - Tim Bowman


It's been four years since smooth jazz guitarist Tim Bowman's last CD, This Is What I Hear was winning rave magazine reviews and garnering ubiquitous smooth jazz radio airplay. Now, Bowman is back on the scene with a new CD that demonstrates that he still has his ear pressed firmly to the radio. The new self-titled project, Bowman's first for Trippin' N Rhythm is full of the cool and funky hooks that have defined his personal jazz style over the last decade and kept him at the top of the charts. When asked what he thought about the new collection, Bowman says, "I feel good about this one. It's the feeling I get every time I know I've had fun making an album". Once listening to this album, there's no wonder why Bowman had a good time. Simply put, it's funky. Bowman, along with Smooth Jazz friends like Jeff Lorber, jam the record all the way through to the end, injecting smooth tunes throughout for his listeners to catch their breath. Bowman was born on April 22, 1959 in Detroit, Michigan. He was the ninth of a dozen children born to the late Aaron (a brick mason) and Mattie Bowman, a housewife. Their lives revolved around the International Gospel Center Church in Ecorse, MI. "There was a guitarist at church who just blew me away," Bowman says of that day in 1970 when his eleven-year-old hands were first inspired to pick up a guitar.

Bowman's guitar influences vacillated between country star Roy Clark and George Benson. By the age of fifteen, Bowman was seriously hooked, but experiencing growing pains as he taught himself the guitar. "I was having the hardest time getting the feel of the guitar and getting comfortable with it," Bowman explains. "So, I told my pastor [Charles O'Miles] and he prayed for me and I started getting the hang of it." From that point on, Bowman played in church for eight years and won a two year scholarship to the Detroit Music School. "Those were two of the most enlightening years of my life," he muses. After high school, Bowman held on to a General Motors assembly line job for a few months. After he was laid off, Bowman devoted his time to playing his instrument, and eventually landed a spot playing for the renown gospel group, The Winans. Bowman stayed on as guitarist and eventually music director for six years. Although, it was a tremendous opportunity, Bowman wanted to get off the merry-go-round.

"I was getting burned out from the traveling and I missed spending time with my wife and kids," he recalls. Bowman amicably departed the group in 1987 and took a playing hiatus. He settled into domestic life and was content to play the guitar as a hobby until his wife, Wanda, influenced him to do an album. Although, it had not occurred to him previously, Bowman thought it was a good idea and began his music career. In May 1996 Bowman printed up 2,000 copies, himself, and started promoting the album around Detroit. The city's jazz radio station WJZZ started playing four tracks concurrently (Give Me You, 'Love, Joy, Peace', I'll Be There, and Speak To Me) in heavy rotation. One thousand CDs on consignment at Detroit record stores were sold in five weeks. Eventually, Insync Records picked up the CD and released it nationally. The album peaked at 19 on the Gavin Smooth Jazz Charts and 20 on Radio & Record Magazine's album chart in the spring of 1997. The single I'll Be There rose to 18 on Gavin's Top Twenty singles chart. Bowman's follow-up projects Paradise and Smile both received widespread media attention and great reviews as well. In 2004, Bowman released This is What I Hear. In his fourth collection, Bowman surpassed the success of all of his prior albums with his smash 1 single, Summer Groove. The acclaim for This is What I Hear solidified Bowman as a Smooth Jazz all-star and helped to land him a spot on the '07 "Guitars and Saxes Tour", alongside Jeff Golub, Gerald Albright, and Kirk Whalum. The release of Bowman's fifth album is sure to top the charts. The self-titled collection features hit songs like Sweet Sundays, High Def, and Rapture featuring saxophonist Najee. Heavy hitters Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Randy Scott, and Darren Rahn all show up on the record. "I am so blessed to have some of the best musicians in the world on this record", Bowman says of the collaborations. Bowman's son, Tim Bowman Jr., is also featured on the R&B song, All I Need Is You. Mellow, pulsating tunes like For You, My Love, Sunset, and Soul Dream leave room for no other title except, Tim Bowman.

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