Tim Dorsey Biography
Meet Tim Dorsey!

Tim's Biography

Tim Dorsey
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Vital Stats

  • Date of Birth: September 29, 1960
  • Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, PA (has lived in northeast Wisconsin since 1975)
  • Family: Married to Teresa (Nowell) of Neenah, WI. Parents of five children.
  • Education: Neenah High School; Appleton High School-West (Class of 1978)
  • Musical: Performer and composer (contemporary pop, jazz, inspirational), recording artist, DJ and wedding entertainer.
  • Instruments: Piano/keyboards, flute, guitar

The Story

Tim Dorsey, an international entertainer of prodigious musical talents, has been singing since the late 1970s. He has an extensive vocal range, possesses breathtaking versatility and has a natural gift for vocal styling.

Audiences that have been captivated by this multi-talented singer/songwriter sense in him a freshness, a purity and an unspoiled quality untainted by crass commercialism.

If you close your eyes and listen to him sing a Stevie Wonder medley, you can't help but be awestruck by the similarity in vocal expression between the two performers. As flattering as that comparison is, Tim has his own distinct musical styling that is characterized by precise phrasing and a velvet-smooth delivery.

A native of Pittsburgh, PA., where he lived until the age of 15, Tim was always musically inclined. He learned to play flute at the age of 9 and taught himself to play the piano in high school. One of his brothers played the upright bass and was a jazz musician, while the other was a hard rock guitarist. So from early on, he was exposed to a variety of musical influences.

His guidance counselor suggested that he enroll in the A Better Chance (ABC) program, which takes scholastically promising but economically disadvantaged students from inner city public schools and transfers them to other school districts with a better learning environment. The ABC program first brought him to Neenah High School, then to Appleton High School-West, from which he graduated in 1978.

It was a pivotal move, as he said in an interview. "My high school was bad and we weren't being taught much in music class." In northeast Wisconsin, he found a more supportive atmosphere that allowed him to develop his musical talents. 

In high school, he appeared in a number of musical and theatrical productions and still retains an interest in stage work. 

Singing is only one part of Tim's musical makeup. He considers himself also a composer, Tim started penning musical compositions in high school and has continued to do so consistently. He is a competent instrumentalist who plays keyboards, flute and guitar.     

He took music theory under James Vine, a vocal music instructor at Neenah High School, and started composing. It was also at Neenah High that he met the former Teresa Nowell, who played a key role in further stimulating his interest in music. 

He and Teresa were married in 1978. They have five children, Jonah, Hannah, Ezra, Simeon and Sofia. 

After their marriage, Tim started composing inspirational music "because that is where my heart was and still is." Two such compositions, "Growin' Right Through It" and "Have Your Way," became #1 selections on radio station WEMI, Appleton. 

"The audience feedback was super," remarked Paul Cameron, program/music director at WEMI. "It is exciting to be able to program a local artist and know that the level of musical quality will stay the same." Partly as a result of this on-the-air exposure, Tim has become a frequent guest soloist at community events. 

Tim was featured at a 1986 Christmas concert at Calvary Chapel Church in Appleton, Lynn Kellogg, a vocalist who has appeared in the Broadway hit, "Hair," and who co-starred with Elvis Presley in the 1968 movie, "Charro." 

In 1999 Tim performed at a Christmas concert with the Fox Valley Symphony. Charts were written in Chicago for Tim's performance. This event inspired Tim to record his Christmas CD, Christmas With You.

He also was paired with Sherman Andrus, a former member of the Imperials gospel group, at another concert at Calvary Chapel in Appleton in 1989. "I enjoyed Tim Dorsey," Andrus stated following that performance. "He's a great writer and a great singer. He is a great talent."   

Fred Sturm, director of jazz studies at Lawrence University, first became acquainted with Tim when they were both doing studio work. At the time, Sturm, co-director with Maury Laws of the Valley Jazz Orchestra, was looking for a male vocalist to accompany local jazz/pop singer Janet Planet at the Fox Valley Arts Alliance 1988 Pops Concert. 

He suggested to Laws that Tim be tapped for the assignment. Laws readily agreed. Tim's outstanding performance at the concert brought him rave reviews. The public demanded to hear more of "this new and exciting singer" and he was invited back for an encore performance with Planet and the VJO at the 1989 pops concert.

Tim with Andy Ivey, A&R Rep of Benson Music Company

Beau and Tim writing at Benson Recording Studio.

In 1991, Benson Record Company in Nashville, Tennessee invited Tim to be a guest artist. Paul Grimshaw, radio promotions coordinator of Benson Music Group stated, "As you can imagine, we hear a lot of demos. This one stands out. You didn't exaggerate the talents of this guy... I hear his music as being a cross between Stevie Wonder, Jon Gibson and Larnell Harris and commercial enough to be received by radio. I sure do like it!

Since 1998, corporate performances became a great part of Tim's life nationwide for clients like Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL). He has has performed , composed and recorded theme songs for field conferences and music for training films.

Tim has composed and recorded many of his own projects (I Don't Deserve This Love , Christmas With You, Still, Ceremony of Songs, Tune In and Dancin' On The Moon).

Tim has performed vocals on several dozen musical commercials and recording projects at recording studios from Appleton, Wisconsin to Nashville, Tennessee. He has recorded in Milwaukee with Daryl Sturmer, guitarist for Phil Collins. Other projects Tim has done include educational and commercial recordings at his own recording studio, OpenwindO , in Greenville, Wisconsin. 

Since 1996, Tim has become a full-time musician and recording artist performing throughout the nation. including Madison Wis. State capital in 2002 at a birthday celebration for Martin Luther King. Tim is also involved with schools for artist in residence.

Tim and his wife, who performs as Awtum the Clown, have formed Dorsey Entertainment which provides a variety of entertainment options for corporate and public events, including Tim with a Band, vocals and keyboard and a unique singing/DJ service for receptions. Dorsey Entertainment, Inc.also provides many other professional entertainers.