Before moving to Germany in 1996, JJ studied broadcasting and film in the United States, earning a degree from the University of Michigan in 1994. He co-wrote and associate-produced the Emmy award-winning documentary “Come Unto Me: The Faces of Tyree Guyton”(Nicole Cattell, 1999), after which he headed overseas with his newly wedded wife, the German artist and costume designer Sabine Schlunk.
Sabine’s costume collaborations proved to be quite instrumental in his spirited performances with the band Fuzzy Love, a “trash art ensemble” that formed as part of Canadian artist Laura Kikauka's “Funny Farm” series of works. The band, which reinterpreted pop hits of the past 50 years with a console organ and theremin, enjoyed great local success, being named one of Berlin's 100 most important bands and performing at venues throughout Germany and around the world, including Hong Kong, Paris, Venice, and Toronto.
In Berlin, he also enjoyed creating several theatrical projects. He co-wrote and directed a play based on Erich Kästner poetry called “eier, zum Beispiel”(eggs, for instance), and starred in the musical “Die Drei von der Tankstelle”(Three Petrol Pumpers) at the Brandenburg State Theater. He also appeared in the choreographic installation by Ami Garmon, “Stepping Over Stepping Stones 1-2-3” at the Hebbel Theater, and Lindy Annis' “American Tragedy”, also at the Hebbel.
His musical involvement continued to grow with additional band projects: atelier Theremin, an electronic experimental band influenced by 1970s German Krautrock; Der Plan, a revival of the German New Wave band from Düsseldorf; and Dick Zeppelin, once again taking a new look at popular hits, but this time by reinterpreting Led Zeppelin music in a Rockabilly style.
Before he moved to Nashville, his musical endeavors began to focus on participation in a Serbian Orthodox church choir in Berlin and solo works, including “See Through Tattoo”, an exploration of the many interpretations of a single song, which premiered at the EXIT Festival in France in 2005. He also produced and performed a well-received Christmas album, “The 12 Minutes of Christmas”, using the same premise as “See Through Tattoo” of singing over historic recordings.
After moving to Nashville, “The 12 Minutes of Christmas” began to be performed inside a giant bubble -- THE HUMAN SNOW GLOBE!
It has become clear to him that as a musician it is his calling to use the medium of music as a way of being a light to the heart -- to sing and celebrate Love in many different ways, including the silly, the surreal, and the spiritual.
His latest music focuses on this spiritual side, with songs written as solos for Christian Science churches and metaphysical alternative rock songs written with the Estonian composer Rainer Jancis. A collaborative project called ecclesiaudio is also in the works, which brings together musicians and sound artists to present alternative and experimental sounds for the spirit.
Continuing to cover the entire spectrum, JJ has branched into the political, creating parodies in support of the ideas of Ron Paul.
JJ is very grateful to have been created and to be able to share his joy with anyone who will listen.