How’d You Get That Awesome Gig, Jim Johnston?!

Name: Jim Johnston

Occupation: This seems to get more complicated every year. I am primarily a drummer. I also teach drums. I also own and operate Cornerstone Music Café… so I do lots of dishes and make lots of lattés. Food prep and parleying with teachers, students, and clients is also a big part of my day to day.

First Job: I can't remember if my flyer route or babysitting came first, but I also have fond memories of earning my keep on an uncle's farm during a few summers. Busking at Eau Claire Market back in the days was a major part of my income as teen.

Best Job: I love performing music. That really is where my passion is.

Greatest Professional Challenge: Devoting enough time to those things that are important in the long term rather then those things that are on fire right before my eyes. That may be a little vague but I really do believe it is the most challenging aspect of both my personal and professional life.

How did you get this awesome gig anyways? Cornerstone Music Cafe really is an attempt by my wife and I to creatively express our passions in one space and in one business. We literally looked at what we love to do, our mutual skill sets and said let’s do this all at once.

What do you like best about your job? I adore seeing the meaning and love that goes into both the food and music that is shared at Cornerstone. Sylvia and I both express ourselves and our intentions through food and music respectively.

Any special skills required? Barista, pedagogy, social worker, prep cook, drums, accountant, secretary, and the list goes on!

Favourite experience on the job? It's a tie between seeing my wife live her dream of becoming a restaurateur, or watching my students grow, change and carry on doing music for themselves.

Advice for people who want your awesome gig: It's more work then you can imagine. In the moment, that work can be oppressive. Wait for that feeling to pass with a sense of humour and you will be rewarded!

Favourite Canadian music venue? I love playing outdoors – especially during the summer. I think my favourite stage is at the Kaslo Jazz Festival. Floating stage on a lake, surrounded by mountains, good vibes, dancing people and outstanding sound!

Favourite record of the moment? Really digging on “Black Radio” by Robert Glasper.

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