2-time Grammy nominee, Jimmy’s Bavarians, led by Jim Bestman, or “Jimmy” as the crowds know him, has appeared in the Midwest at Lake Geneva, the Illinois State Fair, the Du Page County Fair, Ho-Chunk Casino, Taste of Chicago, Ravinia, Northwestern University, De Paul University, Illinois State University, and the University of Chicago. The band also has appeared at Chicago’s “Music Everywhere,” plus the Casino Club, the Elgin Riverside Club, and the BMW Pro-Am.
“Swingin’ Chicago Style,” is the CD with 13 favorites from the German-American repertoire, including hits from Lincoln Avenue. This CD also has the distinction of going the next step in typical “Chicago style” by making the music swing! Even the liner notes pick up on the theme and show the relationship between Chicago’s jazz community and the German community.
“Treasurers,” is the CD that truly showcases some of Chicago’s “musical treasures!” Violin jazz legend Johnny Frigo and Rusty Jones, former drummer with George Shearing are featured along with Jimmy, Chicago bass artist Wayne Roepke, well-known Chicago accordionist Don White, and Chicago’s popular ethnic vocal artist, Annie Ondra. The CD was released September 1, 2007 and was accepted for a Grammy nomination for the year 2007.
Jimmy’s Bavarians appeared on the Commonwealth Edison commercial, when you heard, “Are ya ready to polka?” Jimmy also appears in the brief clop as the Bavarian musician in the motion picture “The Weatherman” with Nicholas Cage.
In 2013, the band went in another direction, and presented two world-premiere events, first in full regalia, including 12 foot Alphorn with Jimmy’s Bavarians, in full concern at the 40th Anniversary of the Lake Shore Symphony, and second, as guest artists with the prestigious Mt. Prospect Community Band.
Jimmy’s Bavarians perform at festivals, concerts, promotions, private parties, corporate events, and special events the whole year round. Jimmy himself is not stranger to American or German musical circles. Since his playing days at Northwestern University, where he was solo alto saxophonist, he has been in constant demand. Through the years, he has appeared with name bands and major artists, most recently with the newly reformed Les Elgart Orchestra. In Germain circles, he has appeared with bands that have played for the Rheinischer Verein, Schwabischen Verein, Schleswig-Holsteiner Sangerbund, the Schiller Club, and the DANK organization. He is, of course, a member of DANK and the German Musicians Club of the CFM. He is a member of AFM Chicago Local 10-208, Joliet Local 37, ASCAP and NARAS.