has led dual careers in music and technology. As a musician he’s an internationally acclaimed composer, producer, and recording artist. As founding partner of Gelcer Myhr Productions, a Toronto-based production house for film, television, and advertising music, Jim produced work for clients including CBC, Bell Canada, MuchMusic, Warner Music, McCain’s, Dentyne, Reader’s Digest, Virgin Records, and Labatt. He is currently composing with film and tv music veteran, Donald Quan, at their company, Gopher Lunch.
In his tech career, specializing in Internet technologies, Jim has managed cross-functional teams and projects for Internet Direct, EveryWare, Bell, Apple, IBM, Cisco, and Open Text. He was on the executive team of Harvard startup Noank Media Inc., a next-generation copyright licensing system for the legal distribution and transmission of digital works over the Internet, where he was instrumental in raising startup funding and signing critical content license agreements. Jim has acted as fundraising consultant to non-profit organizations including Canadian Spinal Research Organization and Small World Music. He has served on various boards including Glenn Gould Foundation, Toronto Summer Music, Via Salzburg, and Mariposa In The Schools.
From 2003-2013, Jim chaired the organizing committee for “Because God Loves Stories: The Alec Gelcer Memorial Storytelling Concert”, an annual evening of stories and music at the Toronto Festival of Storytelling. Keynote speakers included Michael Wex, Simcha Jacobovici, Ralph Benmergui, and Sandra Shamas.
From 2012-2016, Jim was Music Director of Shri Fest, a yoga and music festival in Collingwood, Canada.
Paul Hoffert (Poli)
was born in Brooklyn, New York and studied classical piano when he was a young boy, but he was drawn to the popular music of Fats Domino, Little Richard, and the doo-wop vocal groups that were popular then. His first band was the Boptones, which released two singles, “I Wanna Love You” and “Betty Jean”, when Paul was just 13 years old. All the band members had nicknames—nickibop, johnibop, stevibop and, his own moniker, polibop.
He moved with his family to Toronto when he was 14 and, influenced by his older brother Marty’s love of jazz, took up the vibraphone (vibes). Within a year, his musical muse had become Milt “Bags” Jackson, the vibist with the Modern Jazz Quartet, and he was performing regularly at coffee houses and on network television. The popularity of the Paul Hoffert Jazz Quartet led to a record deal for his first album, “The Jazz Routes of Paul Hoffert”, which was released when he was 16.
Hoffert studied music composition, arranging, and orchestration with Gordon Delamont for six years and, by the time he was 22, he had composed several feature film music scores and written an Off-Broadway musical, “Get Thee To Canterbury”. He played regularly with jazz greats Moe Koffman, Ed Bickert, Guido Basso, and Rob McConnell. He worked with and performed the music of 20th century classical composers such as Harry Freedman, Harry Somers, Gunther Schuller, R. Murray Shafer, and Louis Applebaum. He was a percussionist with the Toronto Symphony for recordings of contemporary classical music.
In 1969, when he was 26, he co-founded the rock band Lighthouse with Skip Prokop. He toured with Lighthouse playing keyboards, vibes, and congas.
[For Lighthouse information , please visit www.lighthouserockson.com]
Poli stopped touring with Lighthouse in 1973 and turned to record producing. He founded Rock and Roll Records and produced artists such as Bob McBride, Bill King, Flower Traveling Band, Snakeyes, Robbie Rox, and Flying Circus as well as executive producing Lighthouse recordings. During that period, he was a founder of CIRPA, the Canadian Independent Record Production Association.
In 1975, he became music director, arranger, and pianist for Craig Russell, internationally acclaimed impersonator and star of the feature film “Outrageous”, for which Hoffert wrote the Genie Award winning film score. Poli conducted Craig Russel’s jazz orchestra in performances around the world, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles’ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Berlin’s Theatre Festival, Sydney’s Opera House, and Toronto’s Massey Hall.
Hoffert returned to Lighthouse in 1982, for its Ontario Place reunion, and since then has remained a performer with the band.
Hoffert has composed and conducted original music for more than thirty feature films, hundreds of television programs, and for orchestral music including his Concerto for Contemporary Violin, which won a Juno Award. He is the recipient of San Francisco Film Festival Award, Genie Award (best film score) as well as Gemini, Clio, and four SOCAN Film/ TV Composer awards.
He conducted orchestras for Lighthouse’s collaborations with symphonies, and composed, with Skip Prokop, the music for Lighthouse’s North American Ballet High concert tour with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet company and for the South American Noah tour with the Desrosiers Dance Theatre, He has conducted recordings and performances of Orchestras in Canada, the United States, England, Germany, and the Czech Republic, including a Sony recording featuring Placido Domingo. In 2009, he conducted the children’s opera “Brundibar” at Koerner Hall in Toronto.
On the academic front, Hoffert was music director of the Blue Mountain School of Music 1975-77 at George Brown College. He was appointed adjunct Professor of Fine Arts at York University in 1984 and Research Professor at Sheridan College in 1999. Hoffert was a founder and Chair of the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television and executive producer of the Gemini Awards in 1985 and 1986. He was Chair of the Ontario Arts Council 1994-97 and is currently Chair of the Guild of Canadian Film and Television Composers and Chair of the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund.
In 2005 he was appointed Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Law School (copyright) and in 2007 was appointed a director of McGill University’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology. He has also taught at Beijing University and the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi.
Hoffert has served on many other boards including the Canadian Performing Rights Society (1984-90); SOCAN Foundation (1993-2009); Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (1998-2003); Virtual Museum of Canada (2000-2005); Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (1999-); the Glenn Gould Foundation (2000-), and the United Nations World Summit on Information Societies.
Hoffert spent much of 2006-8 in China, working with Harvard University and the Chinese government to monetize music file sharing in that country. During that time, he toured China as a performer with world music diva Dadawa (Zhu Zheqing).
He is the author of five books, including The Hoffert Guide for Synchronizing Music with Media and Composing Music for Videogames, Web, and Mobile. In 2005 Poli received the Order of Canada for his contributions to music and media.