Appearances on television and radio, lots of good press and reviews, and steady performances at high-end venues. Jim Hudak has been enjoying a career-surge in everything involving his music. "I've said it before and I'll say it again, working with some top names in the music business can really be helpful," Jim says. "Not only do you have the benefit of their talent, but of their name recognition. Associating yourself with successful people makes it easier to get your music listened to." Indeed. The imposing line-up of musicians assembled for Jim's "Bridging Textures" CD continues to turn heads and generate airplay and attention. The names of Will Ackerman, Michael Manring, Tracy Silverman, Mary Fettig and Suzy Thompson are highly regarded in music circles throughout the world. They, combined with Jim's unique and interesting original music, have led to personal appearances on both radio and television, along with continued airplay and rave reviews. "It had reached a point where I needed to make a statement with my music," Jim says. "To Will Ackerman's credit, he said the only way he would work with me would be if the record we made together contained all original music. Thank goodness he had the foresight to suggest that. It was time for my original music to stand up on its own, and for me to develop my own persona musically." Every musician loves steady, ongoing performance opportunities. Jim's recent repeat engagements at upscale Bay Area venues such as Bing Crosby's, Vic Stewart's, and Blake's at Boundary Oaks, combined with his ongoing, nine-year run at Round Hill Country Club, has helped both financially and with the good exposure. "The other night, I was playing at my newest venue, which is Massimo's, a nice restaurant in Walnut Creek. A guy and his wife were dining there and they had just heard me a couple nights earlier at Bing Crosby's, and they also see me regularly at Round Hill Country Club, where they are members. He says to me, 'Why do you always get to play at the best places?' I laughed and told him I was just lucky. But he's right, I've been on a nice roll with my music and performances lately. I've been very fortunate." Moving to Northern California in 1997, Jim lucked out by immediately landing a presitigious though low paying job as a pianist at the Nordstrom store in Walnut Creek. "It only paid $11.75 an hour back then, which was disappointing," he says now. But I knew it would lead to other jobs, as it has. Many of them pay a great deal more than that, which of course makes it easier to be a musician for a living." The goal, of course, is to parlay this current level of venues into more concerts and listening oriented venues. It's tough to book the true concert halls. who tend to book artists with national and international drawing power. But Jim Hudak recognizes it's a step by step journey. "I still feel like this little guy out there, and I'm talking with booking agents and managers about getting to the next level. But for now, playing five to six times a week at well paying establishments, selling my CD's and getting royalty generating airplay isn't a bad situation at all. I've come a long ways, but I know I've got a long ways to go. I'm just enjoying the ride." Spoken like a true musician. One who's music has been on a good roll lately.

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