Jaime Jorge, Cuban born concert violinist, has enjoyed a successful performing career since his late teenage years. By the beginning of this century he was performing more than 100 times a year to over a half million people. By the end of the first decade of this century, he had played in more than 35 countries and recorded and released fifteen CDs.
Jorge spent the first ten years of his life in Communist Cuba. His mother, an accomplished musician who performed on several instruments and composed music, recognized his talent and started him on violin at age five with noted Cuban violin teacher, Adolfo Guimbarda. He was offered the possibility of study in Moscow with some its greatest musicians if he and his family would renounce their belief in God. They refused.
At age ten, Jorge immigrated to the United States with his parents. He resumed study on the violin shortly after their resettlement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, assisted by Music for Youth, an organization sponsored by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. After MFY helped him obtain a violin and find a teacher, Cyrus Forough, a student of David Oistrakh and Josef Gingold, he was auditioned and placed as concertmaster of the youngest of three youth orchestras run by MFY.
When the family moved to Chicago in 1983, Forough by coincidence also relocated to the area, and Jorge was able to resume study with him, continuing until the early 2000s. While attending North Shore Junior Academy, he also learned to play the baritone saxophone and sang in the choir.
In his junior and senior high school years, Jorge was a member of two local symphonies, playing principal second violin in one and serving as assistant concertmaster in the other. He was invited to become a member of the Chicago Civic Symphony, usually a preparatory experience for possible membership in the Chicago Symphony. During this time he also played in the New England Youth Ensemble when they played in Carnegie Hall.
When he graduated from Chicago Christian Academy in 1988, he was not interested in pursuing music as a career. Jorge instead enrolled as a pre-medical student at Loyola University. While there, he began to realize, after witnessing the power of his music on students at the school and those who heard him during his numerous concerts on weekends, what a blessing his music could provide for others.
At the age of seventeen, he recorded Adoration, an album of sacred music. By the time he had graduated from LU in 1992 with a B.A., he had recorded three more. These would be the first of ten that he recorded in the next twenty years. By the time Jorge entered medical school in January 1994, he had recorded yet another album assisted by members of the Czech-Slovak National Radio Symphony orchestra, and had performed in Russia and Latvia.
After two years of medical school, Jorge made a decision in 1996 to begin a full-time career in music ministry. The following year, he married Emily Hall, and for the next three years she accompanied him as he toured. During this time, he recorded a CD of Christmas music, working with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra in Budapest in 1999. In that same year, he also was hired by Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina to teach violin, play in a string trio and serve as concertmaster in its orchestra.
In 2000, as part of an evangelistic outreach by La Voz de la Esperanza, Jorge returned to Cuba for the first time since he had left over twenty years earlier. It was an emotional and fulfilling trip for him as he performed for the meetings and visited with family, friends, and the family of his first violin teacher.
Source: Based on information in Jaime Jorge's autobiography, No More Broken Strings, published in 2002 by the Pacific Press Publishing Association and available at ABC stores nationwide and atwww.pacificpress.com.