Country performer Jake Gill has always taken to music. He recalled his mother telling him that as a baby, he stood on her lap at a town concert and was captivated by the concert band his dad was conducting on stage.
Growing up in the Stafford and Sylvia area of Kansas, Gill played trombone in his middle and high school bands, later taking up guitar and bass. Sure, he played some coffee houses in college, wrote some songs, played in local churches and at family gatherings, he would pick up his guitar and start singing and playing, but music was nothing more than a hobby.
Then the Kansas native made it through auditions for the second season of TV’s “The Voice” in 2012 and that was the game changer.
“It was enlightening because I’d never pictured music as a career until then,” Gill said.
Since then, he has gotten a band together, recorded five albums and toured throughout the United States. Gill will be giving a free concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Wellington Regent Theater. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Concert goers will be able to give donations to Wellington Humane Society, Birthline and Blue Sky Ranch, a boy’s ranch between Wellington and Haysville. In the years he has been touring, Gill has raised thousands of dollars for charities and during his concerts, he always recognizes local people serving in the military.
He wrote a song called “Guts, Guns and Jesus” that tells the story of a man who grew up playing football, then went off to war and found out his wife was dying of cancer. The song tells of him trusting God to take care of them.
Gill has some more upbeat songs, such as “Kansas Queen,” “Tailgate Tradition” and “Baby I’m On It.” His latest album, his fifth, is called “Maverick in Me,” half of which he recorded in Greenjeans Studios in Wellington.
“My favorite song is always the newest one that I’ve written,” Gill said. “I write a new song every week. Sometimes I’ll pick a random topic. I’ll pick a topic related to a place in history or maybe it’s just something I see.”
Upon graduating from Hutchinson Community College, Gill attended Cleveland Chiropractic College in Overland Park. For years, he had a successful business as a chiropractor in Hutchinson, but not long after appearing on “The Voice,” he left that world behind to pursue the life of a professional musician and songwriter.
He records in Nashville and has a house there, yet the 43-year-old also maintains a home in Hutchinson with his family.
For anyone who would like to pursue a career in music as he has done, Gill said, “They just need to do it in their homes, in their bedrooms. They need to get around other people doing it as well.”