Meet Brandon ‘Piano Man’ Jay Tripp
Piano Photo: Courtesy of Tiffany Glaser
When some people take the stage, they have "it". You can't explain what "it" is exactly, but when you hear "it" there is no mistake they have "it".
They can be a performer, athlete, speaker, musician, or singer, and once they begin, you take notice.
First time I heard Jay Tripp behind a piano, it took seconds before I sat up, and thought to myself "OK here we go, you got my attention".
I now follow Jay's Facebook musicals adventures called Live @ 3:05.
I asked Jay a few questions about his talent, his "why", and also got his advice for other dream chasers.
For anyone who is not familiar with you or your work how would you describe you?
I am Co-owner and sales manager of Schoppert's Piano Gallery. We are the authorized dealer for the world class Steinway & Sons, Boston, Essex, and Kawai pianos. I'm just me. My life is an open book and I want people to read it. I want them to get to know me. My business is forming relationships with people and, if they take the time to get to know me, they will understand I'm not just another salesperson/piano player. Music is everything to me and allows me to tell a story through my songs. I've been told I'm a fun dork......I'll take it!!!
When did you start playing?
I started playing piano at the age of (9). My grandparents and parents bought a piano and had it delivered on Christmas Eve. At first I was like every other kids and didn't like practicing, but my parents made me stick with it and I am so happy they did as it has turned out to be a passion and hobby of mine that has turned into a career.
Has playing brought you any interesting life experiences of trips?
I'm a huge "people person" so through playing out professionally, I have formed so many friendships and met some incredible people. I was one of the artists that opened up for Clayton Jennings a few years ago out at the fairgrounds; I was part of a Christian band called Asah. I have earned (2) trips to Japan in the last (7) years due to being a top salesperson for Kawai Pianos. I've also had the opportunity to fly clients out to New York and help them pick out their new Steinway Piano at the factory in Astoria. Every new person that walks into the piano gallery makes my life interesting because I have the potential of helping them bring music into their home.
What is live at 3:05?
"Live @ 3:05" is a program I do from Schoppert's Piano Gallery Monday-Friday at 3:05p.m. Every day I either cover a popular song, or I will write a song right on the spot using (4) notes that someone gives me. It takes place on the Facebook page: "Live @ 3:05" with Jay Tripp
Why did you decide to start doing live at 3:05?
A few years ago over Christmas, I would go to my church (Faith United Church in Brandon) late at night and record a new Christmas song. I called it "The 12 days of Christmas". When Facebook "Live" started becoming popular I thought it would be a way for me to share my music with family and friends that are no longer around the Sioux Falls area. In November of 2016 I started going "Live". My friends and family really enjoyed it.....but I found that customers from the piano gallery were tuning in also. I don't know about anyone else but I hate to shop and be "sold" something. I thought this would be a great way for potential customers to visit "Live @ 3:05", get to know ME as a person.....not as a salesperson. It has been a great way to introduce myself, our company, and our products to people before they even walk in the store. It's helped to show people that I do care, and that I want to get to know them and their families. Most importantly it has reassured them that when they walk into my business, they are not going to get "sold" anything.....but they are going to get taken care of and treated like friends when they come in to look at pianos.
Where did you find most of your inspiration for playing, and how often do you play/practice?
I play every day. For me it's therapy. It's a way to express what I'm feeling through the music that I play. If I am having a high energy day, I really go to town on the keys. If I am dragging or having an emotional day, you can find me playing songs with much more emotion in them. As far as inspiration, I enjoy listening to XM Coffeehouse radio. They seem to take a lot of rock songs and make them more acoustic. I've found that I love taking songs from the 80's and re-writing them as piano songs.
If you could have lunch with 3 piano players living or dead who are you eating with, and what’s on the menu?
Billy Joel of course. Harry Connick Jr. and probably Elton John. Italian......and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I picture everyone being loud, laughing, and stuffing their face
Do you have any advice for anyone who has always wanted to play piano or an instrument, but feel maybe that time has passed them by?
It's never too late......and I'm not just saying that because it's what we say. I spent (5) years up in Minneapolis with 200 retirees giving lessons. Many of them had little or no music coming into lessons. What I found is that they were open to learning as long as it was fun. So we did music from the 1930's-1970's. I kept it fun....I kept is simple. Those students used music to help them deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness as many of them were dealing with some of those. They loved being a part of something; a new group of "music friends". It was one of the most rewarding experiences to be a part of that. As adults we are busy. family, work, activities. We need an "outlet" also and music gives you that!
Any additional fun facts about Jay Tripp, or your piano we should know?
I am a very proud father to my son Braeden, who is (9) years old. He started piano lessons two weeks ago and I am very excited to someday play alongside him on the piano. I am also a worship leader at my church in Brandon, volunteer at Sanford and Avera once a month playing their pianos for the patients and staff. I also recently signed a contract with AseraCare Hospice and they set up opportunities for me to go into assisted and independent living centers and share my gift of music.
For years I thought success was about making money. Twelve years ago I was reintroduced to church. What I found is that my priorities were in the wrong order. Ever since, I've put my Faith and Trust in God first, and family and friends next. I close out my priorities with my work. What I've found is that by living this way, I am able to focus on relationships. One would think my work would suffer but it's actually made my business grow. That, to me, is what being successful really means. I have had a goal since I started in this business over (20) years ago; to be the face of pianos in Sioux Falls.....I feel that I am one step closer to that goal every day!!!
Find Jay at one of his performances, or watch at 3:05 when the Brandon piano man goes live by clicking here.
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