james-ford_web.jpgMIAMI — The Church of the Open Door in Liberty City will proudly present a recital featuring classical pianist James M. Ford.

Ford, 70, has dedicated his life to music for many years.  At five years old, he knew music would be part of his life forever.
“I’ve been playing the piano all my life,’’ he said. “I started playing the piano when I was five.  My grandmother gave piano lessons.” 

In 1953, Ford graduated from Booker T. Washington Junior-Senior High School in Miami.  Later, he pursued his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Miami and studied at Julliard and the University of Michigan.

Ford, of Miami, taught mathematics at Hollywood Hills High School and has since retired. 

Today, he spends his time giving music lessons on an advanced level.

The Rev. Joaquin Willis, the church pastor, said Ford’s performance will help raise money for a music school that the church is starting for young people.

Playing the piano is soothing, Ford said, and he plays very well because of his admiration and dedication to the music.

“I do it for the pleasure.  I don’t consider myself to be a musician.  I do it because I love it,” he said.

When he is not playing the piano he is pursuing intellectual interests such as physics, mathematics and other sciences. 

Recognizing Ford’s talent, The Church of the Open Door has invited the community to come and enjoy the concert.

Immediately following the recital, there will be a reception at the Aubrey Watkins-Simms Memorial Garden on the church grounds.

The musical conservatory at the church offers musical activities and lessons that are geared to inner-city young people and their families.

“Jim Ford is a child prodigy, really. He’s donating his time to us to help us in this effort,’’ Willis said. “It means a lot to the church. We’re trying to start a conservatory and this is a fundraiser for the conservatory that we’re looking to add to this community.’’


Photo by Sumner Hutcheson III. James Ford


What: Music Concert featuring James M. Ford

When: 4 p.m. Saturday, June 14

Where: Church of the Open Door, 6001 NW 8th Ave., Miami

Cost: $25

Contact: 305-759-0373