John Gorka


John Gorka was born in Newark, NJ in 1958 and grew up in Colonia, NJ. He started playing banjo and guitar in high school and sang in the church folk group. While still in college Gorka became a regular performer at, and host of, the Sunday night open mics. Upon graduation he became a sort of house opening act through the early 1980's. Many performers he opened shows for opened doors for him in other parts of the country, Nanci Griffith, Jack Hardy and Claudia Schmidt to name a few. Nanci said John should enter the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Concerts in 1984. He won and was asked to open the festival in 1985. Jack Hardy invited John to come to New York City to record for the Fast Folk Musical Magazine and be a part of their live reviews. John became an "outpatient" of the New York folk scene where he met and was inspired by Jack, Shawn Colvin, Lucy Kaplansky, Christine Lavin, Frank Christian, Cliff Eberhardt among many others. He started working on his 1st record in 1985. After a few false starts John's debut recording, "I Know", was released in September of 1987 on Red House Records of St. Paul, MN. The record was produced by Bill Kollar of London by Night Productions. At first the record did not sell well but it did get him work, as he started to tour the US and Canada. Gorka moved to Windham Hill and High Street Records for the next 5 records before returning to Red House in 1997. He has released 4 more cds since his return. While still at High Street Records John released 4 music videos that were played mainly on CMT and TNN cable TV stations. The mid 90's saw John touring Europe and opening for Mary Chapin Carpenter as well as being a part of Nanci Griffith's "Other Voices, Other Rooms" tour. 2007 saw the release of his first music dvd on AIX Records which won an international award for best surround sound music dvd. John continues to tour extensively. He is working on a new cd now that will be released in the Summer of 2009.