He was the lead instrumentalist for several well-known Tucson bands: Tucson-Area-Music-Award winning (TAMMIE) Terry Pollock and Thunderhead North, The Blue Prairie Dogs with whom Jim also won an individual TAMMIE in 1999 for best String player. He played in a duo with popular singer/songwriter Sal Valdivia of Loveland, Colorado. He has played the Tucson Folk Festival numerous times with these groups as well as renowned singer/songwriter John Coinman.
He acquired the nickname “Diamond Jim” while playing for several seasons in the Gaslight Theatre orchestra for the winter western show.
He and his wife, Lynn Perez-Hewitt, lived in Oracle, Arizona for 15 years before moving to Grand Junction, Colorado. In addition to running a recording studio, Jim finds time for web-site and database programming. He also manages to find time for his passion, electro-acoustic musical composition and improvisational performance and audio recording. In November of 2016 Jim and Lynn relocated to Littleton, Colorado, to explore expanded opportunities available in the greater Denver area.
His musical tastes run the gamut from bluegrass, country and western (yes both types), folk, blues, jazz, alt. rock, rap, and electronica (especially the “chill” genre, not to be confused with “chili”). He describes his original musical stylings as “Grassical folk tuneage with a we bit o’ the Celt”
Favorite bands/artists and influences: Mark O’Conner, Vassar Clements, Darol Anger, Sara Watkins and Chris Thile, Lorenna McKennitt, John Coinman, Sam Busch, Greg Morton, The Grateful Dead, Phish, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, Calexico, Miles Davis, Old Blind Dogs, Martin Hayes, Bob Dylan, Jorma Kaukonen, and Jack Cassidy, just to name a few. Favorite local GJ band: The Instagators.
Jim was one of the co-founders of the Fiesta de las Calabazas in Oracle, Arizona, and was the music promoter and one of the performers at this event since its inception in 2000. One of the first new festivals of the new millennium, the Fiesta de las Calabazas continued as a showcase for new and rising musical talent in southern Arizona until its demise in 2010, due to lack of funding and the closure of Oracle State Park by the Arizona State Parks Department. RIP!
In 2003 Jim founded Barn Jazz Productions (a subsidiary of Hewitt Consulting Enterprises, LLC) as a vehicle for pursuing an alternative career in music recording and audiovisual music production. With the able assistance of his wife, Lynn Perez-Hewitt, M.A., APR, public relations maven, manager and accountant (and keeper of the purse), Barn Jazz Productions continues to expand its client base and creative interests.
Lynn Perez-Hewitt, is the media and marketing director for Barn Jazz Productions, as well as Jim’s muse. Lynn is a 2011 recipient of the Southern Arizona chapter of PRSA’s Lifetime achievement Award, is a consultant to nonprofits, economic development groups and government agencies.
Among the organizations she has served during nearly three decades in Tucson have been Friends of Kartchner Caverns State Park, Microbusiness Advancement Center, Community Food Bank, Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition, the Pima County Health Department and the Tucson Chamber Artists.
Lynn is Accredited in Public Relations, holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and a Communications and English double major from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. She is a Past President of the Southern Arizona chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and a Past-President of the Tucson American Marketing Association. She wrote columns for Inside Tucson Business on topics pertinent to small business and nonprofit public relations.
Since the move to Grand Junction, she has been very active in Rotary. Lynn was the District 5470 Public Relations Chair, continues to help out local non-profits in Grand Junction and now in the greater Denver area. She is the past president of the board of the Community Food Bank and a past member of the Horizon Sunrise Rotary organization in Grand Junction.
In September, 2015 she and Jim formed a partnership with Mike Austin and Stephen Schwartz to produce a conference held in Tucson called The Final Transition, which brought together researchers and authors from all over the world for presentations on death, dying, and consciousness.