Ten platinum and gold studio albums. Five concert DVD’s and live discs. Five PBS specials. One Juno Award. Eleven nominations. One Gemini Award. Three Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards. One Acoustic Guitar Magazine Players Choice Silver Award. A wall full of similar accolades.
Thousands of concerts in dozens of different countries. Millions of You Tube views and audio streams. Countless fans around the globe. And a career that is celebrating its 25th year and counting.
Not a bad legacy for a guy who never planned to release an album. Since launching his career with 1995’s Tempest, Cook has blazed an incredible trail. Along with being a global-guitar virtuoso, he’s honed his skills as a composer, producer, arranger, performer, and, more
recently, filmmaker and cultural ambassador.
Seeing opportunity, Cook self-produced Tempest at home using an eight track recorder, and
one microphone. Then he delivered the initial run of 1000 cd’s from the plant to the distributor
in his car. Those humble beginnings quickly sparked a mighty international career. “It’s been
crazy,” the 54 year old says. "And it’s a different story in every part of the world.” In Canada,opportune spots on Canada AM and Peter Gzowski’s Morningside show started the ball rolling.
In the USA, it was a breakthrough gig at the Catalina Jazz festival where his playing earned a 10- minute standing ovation and sparked mob scenes, “It was like being the Beatles,” he marvels-and prompted one store to order enough copies of Tempest to land it at No. 14 on the Billboard charts. In Poland, his 2004 live album Montreal, took the country by storm. In India, he gained fame after one of his songs was plagiarized for a major Bollywood movie.(“In India, that’s allowed,” he explained.) Elsewhere, his music has accompanied gymnastics and skating routines at the Olympics.”In Nagano, the Japanese skater and the Russian skater both competed using the same song. One of them won. “ I think I should have got Bronze”, he jokingly said.
And as Cook embarks on the next 25 years of his unexpected career, “I feel like I’m just getting started,” he says. He is still learning and growing, still chasing dreams and goals. He’s eager to discover the next stage in his musical evolution. Mostly though, he wants to keep traveling the globe, bringing people together with his art and message of unity.
The Tempest 25 Tour comes to Kelowna Community Theatre on March 23rd at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for this special event go on sale to the general public on Friday October 25th. Tickets
available at selectyourtickets.com, by phone at 250-762-5050, or at the Prospera Place Box
office. All seats are reserved.
Presentation of the Kootenay Concert Connection