- Apr 15, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Larry Jankowski will be performing Friday April 15th from 7-9pm LIVE @ Inspiration Bar!
This event is available for Livestreaming from our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WarehouseArtCenter
Lots of little boys go to sporting events and come away with a yearning to someday be an athlete. Not eight-year-old Larry Jankowski. Sixty-one years ago, he was so taken with the organist at a Chicago Stadium hockey game that he knew he had to learn to play. Jankowski’s dad was a professional accordion player and wanted the best teacher he could get for his son. Bob Creed was the organist for the Chicago White Sox, Bulls and Sting. He had played with the Les Paul Orchestra and was staff organist with WLS-TV and radio in Chicago, as well as playing, arranging and directing the Al “Jealous Heart” Morgan shows. This would be young Jankowski’s teacher.
Later Russ Wilt, director of the NBC Orchestra in Chicago, continued Jankowski’s lessons on the organ. Wilt was the organist on the radio show, “Don McNeil’s Breakfast Club,” which played for over 35 years in Chicago. Wilt was also director of the old WGN Barn Dance. Jankowski studied with Wilt for three years and then returned to his original teacher, Creed.
During his high school years, Jankowski began playing publicly in restaurants, won a talent show affording him the opportunity to be featured in a TV show and was hired by Wurlitzer Organs to give demonstrations and teach lessons.
Jankowski continued his musical journey studying classical, pop, and show music with Bob Creed. He played local churches, putting together benefit shows; provided music for ice rinks, roller rinks, sports teams; grew in popularity and celebrity and was asked to audition to be the organist for the Bozo’s Circus Show on TV.
At this point in his life, Jankowski was married with two children and felt reluctant to leave the job security he had in a full time position with the Illinois Bell Telephone Co. He turned down the Bozo offer and continued to work and play the organ and teach 19 music students a week. His longtime friend and mentor, Bob Creed, asked Jankowski to join his studio to teach for him. As Jankowski began recording albums, Creed was there to critique his music and albums. They were best friends until Creed’s passing in September 2007.
The loss of a job and the loss of some loved ones were motivating factors in Jankowskis’ decision to move from Chicago to the Wisconsin Northwoods. These unhappy events brought about a peaceful change in their lives and new musical opportunities.
In 2008, Jankowski received a Yamaha HX-1 organ and that is when “Larry Jankowski and the Electronic Orchestra” was born. This unique organ is a one of a kind in Wisconsin and a challenge to master. Jankowski was forced to take a two-year leave from playing professionally while he learned the instrument. He has now recorded seven albums, including standards, love songs, Christian and Christmas music. In 2013 he recorded his first vocal album. Titled “Ok I’ll Sing!”. Jankowski was always afraid to sing lead, but fans and friends have been after him to try to start singing along with his playing.
Jankowski is a familiar performer around the Northwoods, having played in numerous supper clubs, resorts, country clubs, botanic gardens, art fairs, elk’s & lion’s club’s, libraries, museums, Music in the Park, assisted living centers and for many churches from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan all the way to Madison, WI and is now being called all over Wisconsin and back to places at times in the Chicago area.
LIVE @ Inspiration Bar is a FREE, family friendly event occurring weekly on Fridays at The Warehouse Community Arts Center. Drinks are available for purchase at Inspiration Bar. Stop by and enjoy the live, authentic music and friendly atmosphere!