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I’m getting ready to play a short run of “Evita!” and was thinking about the last time I played it…in 1995.

That made me think of my dear friend, Jim Soluri, who we sadly lost a few years ago.

Jim was a Musical Director, Producer, and Musician of the highest caliber. He is on the short list of the people who have had the largest impact on my life, both as a musician and a person. (What’s the difference?) Jim and I spent thousands of hours in orchestra pits and rehearsal studios. I’ll never forget one minute of those hours.

For all the years that I played for Lakeside Dinner Theater, I had a dream the night before we opened. In the dream, Jim and I had a fight and he fired me. I had the dream once every year, and haven’t had it since.

My most cherished memory of Jim, will always be putting his bow tie on him before a show. Ten minutes before curtain, he’d find me with his tie in his hand. I’d put it on him, and say, “Ready, skippy?”

Whenever I’m faced with a challenge on a gig, or anywhere else for that matter, I often think, “How would Jim handle this?” His answer always comes back quickly.  He’d run his hand over the top of his head and say, “It’ll be fine.”

It always is…

Jim Soluri

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