Greetings First Baptist Community!
I was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut (Fairfield County), and am an organist and pianist by trade. I was introduced to music at a young age by my grandfather, Albert Kaufman. My grandfather loved the sound of the organ and was self-taught. The basement of his home was filled with more than 15 different organs! Being surrounded by this, I inevitably caught the music bug at the age of 3 and by the age of 11 played my first full mass at St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church.
Music has been at the heart of everything that I do and love. I come from a family rooted in faith as well as music. Having these engrained in my life has led me to flourish in the music ministry. I have a Master’s in Music Education from the University of Bridgeport. I was blessed to have been the recipient of a full scholarship for my undergraduate and graduate studies.
I began my professional music career working with various artists such as Spyro Gyra, Brian Torff, David Samules, and Chris Tomlin. I have worked with many studio musicians on various albums at the Carriage House in Stamford. One of my most meaning musical accomplishments was being involved with musical missionary work with La Nueva Jerusalen Church in Bridgeport. I composed, produced and arranged two Spanish Christian albums of which all proceeds went to charity in Puerto Rico and Columbia.
I have been in the music ministry for almost 20 years, 16 of those with the Covenant Church of Easton. I held a number of roles within their praise team, most notably their lead pianist on auxiliary keyboards. I have many compositions in both traditional and contemporary Christian music that have been used by various praise teams, including the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.
I recently produced and released a Christmas album, “Christmas in Connecticut”, which can be found on my website: JamesANorkawich.com. I also offer private music and vocal instruction through my LLC, Simply Music Glastonbury.
Music and the music ministry are my life. To me, one cannot exist without the other. I feel that music opens the doors to the soul, and when that happens, the soul can receive the Word of God. We are all the missionaries for the Word through music and its our job, my job, to make the congregation lift their arms in praise and prayer.
I am thrilled to be a part of FBC! From the moment I entered the sanctuary, I was welcomed as family. I look forward to many years of joyous worship and meaningful fellowship with you.
p.s. If you’re ever traveling through the Route 8 and I-95 interchange, look to the right and into the horizon. The large cross that watches over the city of Bridgeport is where my grandfather Kaufman’s electronic store was located in the 70’s. When he retired from the business, he sold the land to his friend, Reverend Frederick Jerome Streets, who built the Mount Aery Baptist Church on the property. This is very symbolic for me as it connects my family with my faith and serves as a great remembrance of God’s grace and everlasting presence.