Artist's BiographyJim Riley
Jim was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and from an early age, showed real interest in music. He began his formal studies of percussion at age 12, the same year he began singing with the Youth Pro Musica choir. In High school, Jim began his studies with Boston Symphony percussionist, Arthur Press. In addition to Participating in the Natick High band program, Jim was also performing with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble. He was also elected to ‘All State’ his final three years in school.
Upon graduation, he attended the University of North Texas, where the studied drums with Ed Soph and Timpani with The Dallas Symphony’s Kal Cherry. During his Tenure at NT, Jim was heavily involved with their nationally acclaimed Jazz program, as well as being a member of the top orchestra, wind ensemble, and percussion ensemble at the university. In the area of marching percussion, Jim performed with the NT drumline, where they won 5 national championships. He also played in the Drum Corps International Finals as a member of the Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps.
After receiving his degree in Music Education, Jim accepted a position as the Head of Percussion Studies for the Coppell Independent School District in Coppell, TX. In 1995, Jim moved to Kansas City in pursuit of his dreams to be a professional musician. While recording with local guitarist Jeff Scheetz, he took a job with Kansas City Drumworks building and selling custom drums. It was at this time that Jim began his long relationship with The VPR Creative Group as a writer and performer with the Sticks of Thunder percussion ensemble.
In 1997, Jim made the move to Nashville looking to further his career as a performer. Less than a year later, he was playing with Country artist Mark Chesnutt and outlaw rocker Hank Williams III. The real turning point in Jim’s career came in 2000, when he took the job as drummer and band leader for Rascal Flatts. Jim is currently on Rascal Flatts’ ‘Me and My Gang’ tour, which is expected to play to well over a million people. Rascal Flatts has sold over 10 million records and is the most successful country group of the new millennium. In addition to his work with Rascal Flatts, Jim keeps busy playing sessions in Nashville, where he and his wife, Jaime, reside.