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Versatility key to life, music for guitarist


JAZZ GUITARIST Tim Jenkins zips from charity events to pubs, from the local coffeehouse to such Carroll County Arts Council affairs as Art in the Park and Music on Main Street.

He musically morphs from the smooth sounds of solo guitar, to the rock, jazz and original rhythms of his popular trio, Delirious Tremor.

Equally comfortable in black tuxedo or tennis shoes, tame hair or in-the-face curly locks, the versatile Jenkins delivers music in a variety of styles filled with improvisation and a myriad of emotions.

Jenkins, who lives in Westminster, continues to give back to his community.

"Once you are touched by an organization's outreach personally, it makes playing for the fund-raiser even more rewarding," he said.

Carroll Hospice helped him and his wife, Marilyn, when her mother died of cancer, for example, and hospice-related events are ones that Jenkins makes time for in his busy schedule.

"Tim is an accomplished musician in several genres, and you don't get a lot of people who can do that," said Sandy Oxx, executive director of the Arts Council.

"He did a jazz duo at Art in the Park that made me feel like I was in a smoky bar, and then another week I heard him play solo guitar in the art gallery. His band offers a hip, rock sound. That versatility is one thing that makes Tim's music marketable," Oxx said.

Jenkins, 33, has been playing guitar since he was 15, about the time his family moved to Carroll County from New York.

He said his songs are grounded in his personal belief that "no ideas are too far out." Likewise, Jenkins purposefully detours from sounding anything like mainstream radio. What matters, he said, "is getting out the music that is in my head."

If appreciative audiences find him, great. If financial rewards follow -- so far, he estimates, he has sold about 1,000 CDs -- wonderful.

But for Jenkins, musical success comes when "even if for a brief moment, a combination of notes or an entire song helps someone realize that there are more important things in life than the things that were bothering them before the song or notes began."

Jenkins is the backbone of the seasoned trio Delirious Tremor, which includes David Huether on drums and keyboard and Bill Monroe on bass guitar.

Huether has fronted jazz ensembles with members from groups like Crack the Sky and the Robben Ford Group.

Monroe has played with acts as diverse as the Chuck Underwood Group and Tori Amos.

Delirious Tremor released its second compact disc this summer. Titled Swelling Not to Burst, the CD is filled with progressive, passion-filled jazz tracks.

From the somber song "Shedding Skin" to "Madness Keeps Me Up All Morning" (which is Jenkins' musical tribute to the night that he met his wife and later couldn't sleep), the CD is intense and relaxing at the same time.

When Jenkins is not writing songs or producing CDs , he is often teaching jazz guitar at McDaniel College or Coffey Music in Westminster.

"What I like most about teaching doesn't have to do with the music, really," Jenkins said. "It's watching 12- to 14-year-olds without identities discover that they don't have to be the best athlete or the most cool in school to have personal confidence.

"Being a little part of that discovery," he added, "helping students find their confidence and their voice is what I enjoy the most."

Living Treasure

Westminster resident Jayne Bowersox honors her mother-in-law, Phyllis Bowersox, as her Living Treasure this week.

Loved by friends and family members for her unconditional kindness and her colorful computer-generated cards and flyers, Phyllis lives in Westminster.

"She absolutely puts others before herself," Jayne said. "On the first day of school, she delivered homemade applesauce to family members.

"When her mother was sick, and living with her for a time, she took time to bake her [mother's] favorite desserts and then serve them in a special dish," her daughter-in-law added. "She is that kind of person."

Brighten the day of someone who has made a positive difference in your life. Submit a name and specific reasons why that person has been your living treasure to: Lisa Breslin, 35 Ridge Road, Westminster 21157. Or call, 410-848-4703.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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