John Nilsen

Sunday April 27, 2025 @ 15h00

John Nilsen was born in Seattle, Washington in 1956. The Nilsen family moved to Portland, Oregon, USA in 1960. Nilsen began studying classical piano from his mother at age six. Continuing his musical education, he began playing guitar at age fourteen. John moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1974 to attend Southern Oregon College (Southern Oregon University). Nilsen graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and was honored by the institution in 1995 in recognition of his outstanding achievements, dedicated efforts and leadership in the field of the performing arts with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the most prestigious award bestowed upon Southern Oregon University graduates. An accomplished pianist, guitarist, composer, lyricist and vocalist, Nilsen was also selected to be a Yamaha Signature Piano Artist in November, 2021. 

Nilsen founded the Magic Wing recording label in 1987. The label has a catalog of nineteen successful titles, each with international distribution. Before founding Magic Wing, John recorded three successful solo piano records on LA’s, Eagle Records from 1983 to 1985. He has released seventeen on his own Magic Wing label with fifteen other CDs licensed in countries including Germany, Great Britain, The Philippines, Canada, Taiwan and Singapore bringing reported total record sales to well over one million copies sold. Few independent recording artists claim such success. John Nilsen has two hundred and fifty of his compositions and musical arrangements receiving airplay royalties world wide. Foreign Films was released August 23, 2019 and emphasizes Nilsen’s superb piano compositions with orchestral backing. Several piano solos sit alongside others with a string quartet providing backing. All eighteen tracks make the listener feel as though they’re listening to a motion picture soundtrack. Nilsen is currently recording his 22nd CD. The newest Nilsen release is titled, Two Stories. Released in Dec. 2022, Two Stories is with Nilsen’s band, SWIMFISH, and not be missed. 

Nilsen has performed in all 50 U.S. States and on four continents. 

Photo-John Nielsen


Yamaha Piano Artist John Nilsen performs his original pieces which are a weave folk, jazz and classical. Nilsen will include some public domain traditional hymns in his solo piano program. Proposed Set List:

Twelve Shades of Light

Carry The Desert

The Gift of Love

Ode To Joy

You Are / Lay It Down

Coming Home

Finlandia (This Is My Song)

Chimes / Wrapped Around Your Eyes / A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Out and Away

Across Oregon

Dakota Rose