Jon Schmidt, Paul Cardall, David Tolk, and Michael R. Hicks reunite to offer their most relaxing collection of traditional and original lullaby recordings. Tranquil and serene, they'll calm any heart, young or old.
Born and raised in the small sylvan town of Mendham, New Jersey, David Tolk studied classical piano from an early age with his mother, a graduate of The Juilliard School. After his first year of law school at the University of Utah, David began performing with folk artist Peter Breinholt and has since recorded several CDs with Breinholt and performed at sold out concerts throughout the western United States.
David has recorded three instrumental piano CDs, Mendham, Stories in the Sky, and Holiday, which have been marketed and distributed throughout the country. His peaceful reflective music ranges from solo piano to complex, tastefully orchestrated compositions including violin, viola, cello, oboe, and acoustic guitar.
David has performed and recorded with numerous performers including Peter Breinholt, Colors, and Ryan Shupe, in concert, on radio, and on television. He lives with his wife and three children at the foot of the Wasatch mountains near Salt Lake City, Utah. When he is not practicing the piano, David likes to spend some of his time practicing law.
Internationally acclaimed pianist, producer, and film composer PAUL CARDALL is known for his unique, heartfelt musical style. Indeed, his fans say Cardall’s music literally soothes the heart and nurtures the soul. Such descriptions are ironically appropriate since the artist was born with essentially half a functioning heart. That life-threatening congenital defect as well as a series of difficult surgeries and heart-related illnesses have shaped Cardall’s musical style and inspired his dozens of popular melodic compositions and arrangements. Notably, his thirteenth studio album titled New Life debuted as the number one Billboard New Age album in February 2011 and held a position in the top five for more than 30 weeks. Radio stations reporting to Reviews New Age recognized New Life as the best album of 2011. Music critic Michael Debbage wrote, “There is no filler on this brilliant album that has even surpassed Yanni and Enya on the Billboard New Age Chart, hitting No. 1 without any major label support or media attention - Amazing!” The aptly named album was Cardall’s first recording after undergoing a life-saving heart transplant in September 2009. It was during the 385 days of waiting on the organ donation list that a hospitalized Cardall turned to blogging as a means of maintaining perspective while facing death and sharing his experience with family and friends. Over a million people followed the blog and own one of his albums. Cardall believes his music “has the power to heal and inspire others.” Indeed, audiences who attend a Paul Cardall concert or speech typically come away feeling more alive and grateful for all that is good in this beautiful, yet often chaotic world. One well-known fan, Fox News Anchor Bret Baeir, who has a son with a similar congenital heart defect, has said, “Paul inspires me and my family. He exudes optimism.” Steinway & Sons Artist Manager Jenn Gordan said, "Cardall's commitment to excellence in his artistic and professional achievements make it most appropriate that he is included on the Steinway Artist Roster, a list of the most accomplished and discriminating artists in the world." In addition to his recording career, Cardall founded his own record label Stone Angel Music in 1999. He launched cellist Steven Sharp Nelson's recording career with the popular "Sacred Cello Series" that debuted on the Billboard Classical Charts. Cardall also helped establish acoustic guitar virtuoso Ryan Tilby with a solo career. As part of his Stone Angel Music venture, Cardall owns a prestigious recording studio in the heart of Salt Lake City featuring a large orchestral live room, piano room, drum room, iso-booth, and two mix rooms; including offices for the record label. In addition to his music, Cardall actively promotes various causes involving congenital heart disease and speaking out about what has been described as the nation’s number one birth defect. He created an endowment at Salt Lake Community College that funds scholarships for students born with congenital disease. His long-list of awards and recognitions includes an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Utah State Board of Regents.
Jon Schmidt was born to German Immigrant parents, and they gave him the gift of early education in music. Classical training fell on the fertile ground of Jon’s natural talents for music and hard work. Schmidt began composing as early as age 11, started teaching piano lessons when most people get a drivers license, and began a successful solo career in his early twenties. Schmidt’s 20 year solo career has included many albums, performances, and awards. The Piano Guys entrapped Schmidt with their lair of beautiful pianos. Shortly thereafter, they all ran away together to create spectacular piano cello video content. Their goal is very humble—to inspire the world. Schmidt contributes not just the on-screen piano talent. He loves to throw out all of his ideas, and is not afraid to edit and revise until he has a refined and quality product. Jon finds his fire for the journey seeing the joy of people who hear great music. He is thrilled to reach a wider audience through his work with The Piano Guys.
Michael graduated from BYU in Marketing Communication with a minor in music. He is from Salt Lake City, Utah and served a full-time LDS mission in the California Santa Rosa Mission. Michael enjoyed teaching seminary for a semester at Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah. He loved working as a counselor for the Especially For Youth program for five summers.
Michael is perhaps best known as the composer of the EFY Medley: As Sisters In Zion & We’ll Bring the World His Truth, sung by nearly a half of a million youth since 1999 at the Especially for Youth program, and sung by hundreds of thousands more in church congregations around the world, including seminary graduations, mission farewells, temple dedication celebrations, youth conferences in Lithuania, Australia, Japan, China, Canada, the United Kingdom, throughout South America, and more.
Michael has contributed other arrangements of hymns for EFY CDs, including I Know That My Redeemer Lives, I Believe In Christ, Lord, I Would Follow Thee, and Let Us All Press On.
Michael has produced 7 of his own CDs, his latest being called Hymn Creations.
When he is not writing music, Michael enjoys spending as much time as he can with his family. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wonderful wife Natalie, daughter, and son.
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