:: 2012 :: When Tim Cunningham was faced with the choice between the football field or the musical stage, lucky for us, he chose the latter. Having played the saxophone for over half his life, Tim spent his college years at Michigan State splitting his time between playing defense and playing music. And although a football scholarship saw him through school, his passion for the sax has carried him well beyond, as he passed up an NFL contract to pursue a career in music.

For decades the words “smooth, sultry, cool and funky” have been used to describe Tim’s high-energy and emotional stage show as his sexy blend of smooth jazz and soulful R&B connects with people of all ages, races, and genres of music. This unique and versatile style has earned Tim the pleasure of opening for such jazz greats as Dave Koz, Norman Brown, Chick Corea, The Yellow Jackets, Brian Culbertson, Wynton Marsalis and George Benson. On the flip side, his bumpin’ R&B flavor has on occasion paired him with Earth Wind & Fire, Cameo, Boyz II Men, Patti LaBelle, Frankie Beverly, Jeffrey Osborne, and the late Luther Vandross.

Tim’s experiences bridge beyond the live stage to TV as he co-wrote and performed the theme song to 20th Century Fox’s “Bertice Berry Show” along with appearing in three episodes of “The Untouchables” and BET’s “Jazz Central.”

Signed to Atlantic Records in 1996, his first major label release, Right Turn Only featured the efforts of Will Downing, Brian Culbertson, Kevin Whalum, and Bobby Lyle. Its featured single, “This is the Life,” hit #19 on the Smooth Jazz Chart and received international airplay. Tim’s additional CD credits include Sax Change Operation, A Change in Altotude, Waiting For Love, Inner Peace, and Manchester Road, which was picked up by Nite Breeze Music/Universal in 2008. His most recent release, entitled Reflection, features a cool collection of original tracks packed with smooth grooves and emotional ballads that showcase Tim at his best. Currently Tim is working on a gospel project and an eagerly anticipated live album to be released summer 2012.

Tim credits his mother and his strong Christian beliefs for keeping him grounded as he strikes a perfect balance between the world of music and that of family man with his 3 children and wife of 20 years, all of whom he has written and named songs for on CDs past. This wholesome and down-to-earth quality is what endears Tim to his fan base … and his gift to touch their hearts with his music is what keeps ’em comin’ back for more.

Tim will be performing at JazzFest with Jeremiah Allen, keyboards; Lenny McCanless, guitar; Lavarn Smith, drums; and Jeffrey Taylor, bass guitar.

Performer website