Creator: Joe Wilbur
Curious about where the name “Jai” comes from or why I use it? Read my inaugural blog post: Why Jai?
I’ll try to give the condensed version. I was born in 1980 in a beautiful small town in the Pacific Northwest. I was raised here on a heavy dose of “do-well-in-school” and “play-sports”. I was never very good in music class, during the annual elementary school concerts I would do my best to quietly sing/play along and blend in with the backdrop. I enjoyed listening to music but never thought to attempt an instrument. I played a lot of video games. I was a bit introverted. As I grew older, into high school, I shifted all my focus to baseball. The only notable thing I made growing up was probably a wood baseball bat for my senior project. Showing absolutely no signs of interests to come, I did do well in school and sports, and was gearing up for a future in baseball.
I attended Lower Columbia College in Longview, WA where I played baseball for two years and got my A.A. My second year at LCC I showed up with my first guitar, a black Fender acoustic, left-handed. I drove my roommates nuts only being able to play the opening riffs to a handful of Metallica songs, I soon began to develop my own short bits of music. I think the mixture of being new to guitar (not good) and not being able to learn songs from other bands very well lead me to noodle around a lot and come up with things on my own.
I transferred to Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR where I continued to play baseball, though my first year I quit from being burnt out. I started in the Computer Science department and ended in the Philosophy department, getting my B.A. My thesis was about where music comes from. I also went back to baseball and played out my remaining years, thus ending my “future in baseball”. During my years at Pacific I continued playing guitar, still noodling, practicing, and essentially just trying to “play what I was hearing in my head”. I was getting better at this, and in 2003 I had written my first batch of original instrumental tunes. I had also experimented with putting together my first guitar.
I lived for a short time in Park City, UT after college, had a couple random jobs, had my guitar and computer to continue writing demos, and was just trying to figure out the answer to that post-college question, “well now what?” I was already looking to get back into school. It was like Brooks from Shawshank, it felt weird being out of it. Only this time I wanted to study something fun! I had found Musicians Institute a year or two prior and was now figuring out how to get there, and which program to take. They had a guitar building program and an independent recording artist program, both of which I wanted to do.
I couldn’t get there right away, so I moved back to my hometown, took up my old summer job, and spent the next 4 years writing and recording more demos and getting into refinishing guitars. In 2008 I finally realized I needed to get my butt down to Hollywood, CA and attend Musicians Institute. I chose the recording artist program. It was a whirlwind experience. I graduated with a certificate of recording the following year and had a big chunk of my first album completed. I moved back home again, back to my old job, and continued to work on the rest of my album.
In September of 2010 I finally had my first album in my hands, Instrumental Storyteller Vol.1: Discovering The Peace.
I got married on New Year’s Eve in 2010 to my wife Claire. Our wedding led to us starting a small business on the side called Cloe Designs. Currently I work a full-time day job, handle Cloe Designs with my wife on the side, and refinish guitars as well as continue pursuits in music, seeking placements with songs from my first album and working on songs for Vol. 2. Oh, and did I mention we’re expecting our first child in August? ;-)I hope you enjoy the blog, as a place to archive and provide commentary to my creations.