Oral History Information
Jim Widner was given a very special opportunity to join his grade school’s orchestra, which provided him an instrument to play. His love of music was fostered years later when he became a student of his highly influential high school band director. These early experiences set Jim on his path in music, which has included touring with big bands (Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and Buddy DeFranco), teaching (and creating a jazz program at the University of Missouri at St. Louis), owning his own music store with his wife (Pro Music Shop), becoming a product endorser (for Yamaha) and being on the team that established the Jazz Educators Network (JEN). All this thanks to the kindness and guidance of a few music teachers!