Now that Jim is not on the road much, he enjoys playing
piano locally at night spots and events. After his 16-year
span as Minister of Music at Sayville
UCC, Jim occasionally shows up as a sub at local churches while
checking out their organ and choir! To catch Jim pressing those ivories somewhere,
check out the calendar page.
January 2002 was the beginning of what was to be a
5-year journey for Jim as a band member for
During that period Jim also served as music director,
producer/arranger, and along with sister
Donna shared in the task of webmaster.
Many people know of Esteban from infomercials in which he
sells affordable guitars for aspiring musicians; he also has
as large library of CD's, DVD's, and guitar-instructional materials.
Jim appeared monthly with Esteban and the band on national TV
(Home Shopping Network) as
well as in concert dates across the U.S. (Right: Emilio Santiago,
Ray Nelson, guest dancer Natalie Costeneda, Jim, Esteban, Mike Frost,
guest tabla player Steve Bross, Joe Morris and Teresa Paul. Photo
taken at Red Rocks, CO.)
While Jim's full-time association with Esteban came to an
end in January, 2007, he still occasionally works with him
on gigs, TV appearances, web work and other projects.
In August, 2005, Jim teamed up with drummer
Joe Chirco and bassist
Mike Frost for one of the
most exciting projects he's ever been involved with: a new latin-jazz
trio called Karmic Tiempo.
Inspired by Michel Camilo, Chick Corea, Joe Sample and many others,
the trio announced their first CD release a mere 4 months after
their first session, appropriately titled,
SYNERGY. Their sound? Muy caliente.
Follow the links and hear for yourself! (Left:
Mike Frost, Jim Ahrend, Joe Chirco.)
Peace songs, websites, and the UCC
Since 2001 Jim has written many peace-related
songs for choirs/singers, some of which have been featured regionally
and nationally (See Bio). His original choral
works (some of which have been performed at National UCC gatherings as well as
Riverside Church in New York City) are downloadable at
a site Jim developed for electronic distribution of scores. Jim currently
serves on the steering committee of the
UCCMNN (United Church of Christ Musicians
Update June 2007:
Jim's song was featured as the
"grand finale" culminating the Sunday, June 24 worship at the UCC's General Synod 26 in
assembly in Hartford, CT. Jim directed a 600 voice choir as 12,000 people in attendance
enthusiastically joined in on his anthem, "Let It Shine!", which Jim
wrote for the 50th anniversary celebration of the United Church of
A nice distraction. Give Jim a tuning hammer and watch him
tame the beast! Piano tuning is something Jim has done for
the past thirty years, sometimes full-time, mostly part-time,
but never wasted time. Jim tunes entirely by ear and
still takes pride in a well-tempered Clavier! (Plug: if your
piano needs some TLC and you live in Central/Western Suffolk,
The term "Renaissance Man" comes to mind when one thinks of someone like Jim.
His interests include reading, blogging, aviation (yes, he did fly airplanes for
a living for a while), piano tuning (once a full-time occupation), comparative
religion/theology, animals, philosophy, politics, travel
(loves Europe/anywhere that English is a second language) and
ethnic foods of all types, especially Hispanic, mid-Eastern and Indian.