Fillmore Fusion – Successful local musician Jayme Lewis wears many hats

Jayme-Lewis-lead-02-300x200by Daniel Gelman

If you want to make a living playing the electric bass while living in Fillmore, drug you have to be clever, creative, and conscientious. Jayme Lewis, 27, found that out early and committed himself to a flexible schedule, an open mind, and the focused concentration of a master musician.

When he isn’t in the recording studio with the Jayme Lewis Band playing Jazz/Rock Fusion, he’s touring as a solo act, teaching at the Lewis Music Academy in Moorpark, conducting a church ensemble, or spending time with his wife of two years.

Although he studied classical bass in college at CSUN in Northridge, his passion has been the electric version since his dad introduced him to it when Jayme was seven.  We are not accustomed to thinking of the bass as a lead instrument, but Lewis plays it as the guitar was meant to be. Most basses have four strings instead of the six on a guitar, but a bass is still just a guitar with a lower octave register.

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Everyone in the Lewis immediate family is a musician, so it made perfect sense to create a music academy in their hometown of Moorpark. They incorporated in 2003, but have been teaching for many more years. studio_tour5 Currently they give private lessons there to at least 500 students of piano, violin, drums, cello, guitar, bass and voice. The facility has about 3,000 square feet of space and about 10 private lesson rooms.

Having toured on the road with bands, Jayme knows that it’s difficult to maintain a relationship and stay grounded. He encountered the stereotypical party animals and unstable lifestyles, but steered clear of them as a modern Christian and a family man. Now he’s diversifying and planting his feet in Ventura County for the long haul.

“I couldn’t do what I do before the technology era,” he told CJ in a recent interview. He was referring to the days when a musician needed a record company sponsorship, and the need to pay for a recording studio. Jayme has a full studio and performance space in his home called Second Story Studios where he produces his own and other artists’ albums. He also utilizes the internet to promote his own lessons through a podcast, his albums, and his appearances. He squeezed in some work for Disney and Nickelodeon along the way.

“Back in the day musicians had to hold on to their secrets,” he reflected. Today it’s about sharing. Through his online efforts, Lewis has followers around the world. “I try to tie everything into being both an educator and a player. I make sure you can learn from it,” he said. Jayme has a site at www.LABasslix.com, which he calls “a sort of Netflix for bass lessons.”

One of his gigs is at Real Life Church in Valencia.real.life.church It’s something of a “mega church” for what Jayme characterizes as “seekers.” His specialty is in ministering to young people through music. He has a paid gig there playing and arranging music for the church band. Jayme actually published a book in 2011 on the subject called Advice for the Modern Worship Musician.

One worship leader in Simi Valley endorsed the book and thanked him for streamlining her efforts: “Jayme has put words to musical concepts that are often overlooked in the worship music setting. It helped our worship arts team get on the same page.”

Jayme cites price as his initial reason for shopping for a home in Fillmore, but he also loves the open space and proximity to both his family in Moorpark and the church in Valencia. He grew up going to Lake Piru. He sees himself ultimately moving back to Moorpark some day and expresses enthusiasm for potential work for musicians at the tentative Moorpark Studios film production facility. “I think it would be a great move for the community,” he said. His favorite performance venue in Moorpark is Rock & Roll Pizza.

Lewis is acutely aware of his need to stay on the cutting edge and keep reinventing himself. “In this business, you never know what’s coming next or how long it’s going to last. The more hats you wear, the more likely you are to keep busy,” he concluded.

Jayme’s website is at www.jaymelewis.com and the music academy is located at 216 Moorpark Ave. in Moorpark. (805) 523-1615.

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Daniel Gelman has been a Reporter/Writer for several years, specializing in News, Business, Feature, and Op-Ed.

 

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