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Perry Joslin Considers Leaving Corporate World with Jazz

May 23, 2005

DELAWARE, Ohio — The smooth piano sounds on the cassette led legendary drummer Lee Levin to call Perry Joslin '83 and arrange a chance to see him play the piano.
"I remember him calling and wanting to set-up a time to see me play to prove that I actually could make a piano do these things," says Perry Joslin. "He showed up at the house and before he left he asked me, 'do you know what you have here?'"
Joslin might have had an idea what he was in for, but there was no way he could have known the road that his debut recording would take. He would team up with talented musicians that were, "frankly way out of my league," says Joslin. "These people could play anything and here I was playing my narrow niche of jazz."
The musicians comprise a who's who in jazz with tenor sax Ed Calle, drummer Levin, guitarist Dan Warner, percussionist Richard Bravo, bass Javier Carrion, pianist Doug Emery, jazz flutist Nester Torres, trumpet Jason Carder, and vertical bass Jeffrey Carswell. Musicians on the compact disc have played with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Christina Aguilara, Gloria Estefan to Clay Aiken, and Ricky Martin to Celine Dion.
Putting this support system behind Joslin's masterful piano for the "Perry Joslin Project" made him out to be an overnight sensation. "It was an overnight sensation twenty years in the making," jokes Joslin.
But it was a sensation developed at Ohio Wesleyan University. "Dr. Charles Keller (Ohio Wesleyan professor emeritus of music) changed my life," says Joslin. "He is the reason that I'm playing jazz right now and had a tremendous impact on my life."
While Joslin's first love was music, his father wasn't high on him entering the music business, so he majored in philosophy and history and minored in music. He was also active in Phi Delta Theta during his time at Ohio Wesleyan. While he wasn't able to major in music, Joslin played in State Red, a fusion jazz band, during his time at Ohio Wesleyan.
Joslin went on to the business world and eventually became the managing director and partner in charge of BearingPoint's Florida operation. BearingPoint is one of the three largest consulting firms in the world.
While he was running the office by day, the music was running him at night. He became a self-described "music hermit" playing on his piano at home and building a repertoire of several hundred songs as he composed his work in isolation. It was his wife, Deborah, who finally pushed his two separate worlds together. "One day she just asked me, 'you've been playing in the house for so long, why not record it and send it out?'"
Joslin began using his network to share his form of jazz on a cassette demo that would land in the hands of Levin and the rest is sweet-sweet music. Well sort of.
Even during his "hermit stage", Joslin had been preparing for his music to become popular, but nothing could prepare him for the recording of the compact disc. "I compare it to building a car from scratch, only with the car you know where it is going to end up." However, the compact disc has ended up being sweet music as well for Joslin.
Suddenly, "Perry Joslin Project" was getting some airplay and the "executive turned jazz musician" created a dilemma for the man who had been living a secret life outside of work. He calmed BearingPoint's concerns by telling them, "They have me until 5-6 p.m. and after that I'm a musician, since most musicians don't even get out of bed until 6 p.m."
An unanticipated by-product of announcing his new "career" was that Joslin increased his audience with BearingPoint co-workers attending his shows – no matter where they were. "One of the great things about BearingPoint is that it is an international company and the co-workers have supported me at shows and hopefully I've even turned a few of them onto my style of jazz.
"This is what I intended to do and I never gave up on the dream. If you believe in it then it can happen. Since jazz is such a small niche, it is so great to have others sharing in the dream with me."
Sounds like sweet music.
For more on Perry Joslin visit: www.perryjoslin.com
"Perry Joslin Project" is available for sale for $14.95 at CDBaby.com: http://cdbaby.com/cd/perryjoslin