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Meet Jim Avakian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Avakian.

Jim, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  When I think back on how I was first taken by the music, I hear the records of all the big bands my Dad used to play on Sunday’s afternoons. I loved the beat, the swing of this great music. I was inspired to take piano lessons at 8, and Beethoven became my best friend. My uncle had been a drummer and noticed that rhythm came naturally to me and encouraged me to begin my studies as a drummer.

I loved both instruments, and they laid the groundwork for what was ahead on my musical journey. And when I saw my first concert, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, It was then that I knew I wanted to be a musician. I studied piano, theory and arranging at Berklee school of music, Boston, and performed with various groups as a multi-keyboardist and drummer and toured the country. Suddenly, I was at a turning point and decided to move to LA.

I performed, composed, recorded, produced music, and used all my creative skills to sustain an artist’s life.  There was one common thread that penetrated throughout all of my experiences. It was the spirit of music that helped me in the process of creating and defining my authentic voice.

I’ve met and have been blessed with beautiful friendships and families that have inspired me along the way.  The journey led me to find my wife, a beautiful and talented singer, pianist, songwriter, Dana Greene.  Together we formed a company, To Dream Studios, pursuing our goals and visions as creatives and educators, and making a difference to the next generation of artists.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Of course, there are challenges in being an entrepreneur. With the ebb and flow, the continual changes in our daily lives, I know I have to stay aware, current, and with a clear vision to trust my intuition and allow my inner light to guide me.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
To Dream Studio is a creative hub.  We inspire and encourage expression in the art form of playing an instrument to bring out a student’s own natural musicality and self-expression with piano & drum lessons, as well as nurture and inspire them to find their true authentic voice through singing lessons, performance classes, and concerts.

It’s also where you will find me composing, recording, producing various musical projects.  I am currently creating and producing an animated series called, “Baby Bok.”  In the series, the lead character “Baby Bok” is a young musician finding his way through the obstacles and challenges a creative life can bring.

It is unique in that the theme that runs through it are the challenges we all face – fear, trust, courage to know you can without doubt, and that you are on the right path. The stories are unique, fun, spiritual, and dramatic, and I hope to engage the youth and adults alike with enlightened media filled with messages of positivity, love & compassion.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to do it over.  The one thing I would change;  to cultivate a positive self-image, trust myself more, and gain the courage to jump into my fears.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
John Decindes, Joe LaRusso

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.


  1. Marie Casavant

    July 31, 2018 at 20:58

    Congrats Jim! You were always deeply talented and I appreciated going to a few of your gigs with Andy. Time flies and I wish you nothing if not success in all your ventures. It’s really nice seeing you without an afro and realizing time stops for no one! You’re one of the Pawtucket success stories and I am proud of you and being able to say “hey I know that guy!”

    • Jim

      August 24, 2018 at 20:23

      Hi Marie, I didn’t check to see if anyone responed here. Just noticed this. Thank you very much for your kind words. Hope you’re doing well. All the best to you. Jim

  2. Kathy (O'Brien) Alix

    September 17, 2018 at 22:19

    You’re one of the Pawtucket success stories

    • Jim

      October 26, 2018 at 04:51

      Thank you very much Kathy!

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