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Past graduate makes it big in the music world

Abaigeal O'Brien '11
Opinion Editor
December 15, 2010

At age seven many children are playing outside, enjoying the adventures of elementary school, but for Jimmy Khoury, the adventure was discovering what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Khoury grew up in a musical environment and was inspired by his older brother, Tom Khoury of Peaceful Coalition, to play music. As any younger sibling would do, he began playing music in order to hang out with his older brother. “My first musical experience was playing in the house with my brother,” said Jimmy.  

As a graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School's class of 1984, Khoury describes his time at Durfee with one word: tumultuous. School wasn’t easy for him because he knew he wanted to be a musician so he “gave up a little." He expressed that he could and should have been a better student, stating that not applying himself

Above: Jimmy Khoury, a graduate of the B.M.C Durfee High School Class of 1984, sitting with Opinion Editor Abaigeal O'Brien.
                                       -Hilltop File Photo
in school is one of his biggest regrets.  

Khoury proudly stated that there are many great musicians in Fall River and a number of them came to Durfee. These great musicians truly inspired him, especially Durfee's own theatre teacher Jane Fiore-Bigelow. He remembers Senior Follies as being his favorite Durfee memory, which was a show put on by the seniors that included skits and musical performances.  Ernest Desrosiers was his favorite teacher, whom he had for sophomore history. Khoury recalls that Mr. Derosiers would take classic and popular songs and cite all of their historical references. “I was really interested in that class because he would relate music to history,” said Khoury.

After graduating from Durfee on May 17, Jimmy toured the East Coast until moving to California when he was twenty. In California, he attended the Musician Institute in Hollywood, with graduates including Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell, and Scott Shriner of Weezer, Chad Smith and John Frusciante of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Jeff Buckley.He has since accomplished much in his musical career. Khoury's proudest musical accomplishment is composing for the television show Joey, which started Matt LeBlanc in a spin-off of Friends. He won a BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) award for his work on Joey

He toured the world five times with the Beth Hart Band as the lead guitarist and songwriter.  With Beth Hart, he appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and VH1’s Hard Rock Live. Jimmy also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, and Live on Air with Ryan Seacrest as a guitarist for Wilson Phillips. In 2005 Jimmy partnered with The Transcenders to create music for the Old Navy Spring/ Summer TV campaign.  Jimmy has composed for numerous films including Suspicion for the Independent Film Channel, A Map for Saturday, One Day in Africa and A West Texas Children’s Story for Thunder Bay Pictures. He has also worked with notable musicians including Edwin McCain, Natalie Cole, and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.  He is currently writing music for Clear Channel Radio. 

Even with all of this success, Khoury remains close to his roots, noting his mom as his major inspiration. 

"She showed me how to toughen up and how to get through tough situations," said Khoury of his mother. He stated that his musical influences have changed very little from the time he was a teenager, noting that The Beatles and Led Zeppelin are still his favorites, but added that his list of influences has grown. He also remarked that his musical style hasn’t changed at all, yet his skills have evolved.

For all the Durfee musicians who aspire to be professionals one day, he explained one simple thing: "[It is] more important to be good than famous.”

To contact or learn more about Jimmy Khoury go to www.jimmykhoury.com.