Hotz started playing guitar at the age of 7. His band won their first major talent contest when he was 11. At age 12 he was inventing electronic devices and designing sound systems.
When he was just 16, Jimmy’s band shared the stage with a major international recording group “The Guess Who” (American Woman, These Eyes, No Time, etc.
At age 17 Jimmy joined the band “The Blessed Hope” from Houston and later Dove, both pioneering bands in the early years of Contemporary Christian Music. During this time Jimmy’s bands played at major Christian Music Festivals and Concerts, as both headliners and sharing the stage with other pioneering Christian Artists such as “Love Song”, “Andre Crouch” and “Larry Norman”.
Jimmy first began Progamming Computers in 1971 and from that time onward, Hotz has consistently remained at the forefront of computer technology and worked with almost every new major development in the fields of Audio, Graphics, Video, Multimedia, Electronics and Programming. Jimmy has extensive experience working with almost every brand of large format consoles, tape machines, microphones and processors, including many rare vintage microphones and outboard processors.
When just 19 years old Jimmy began working for JBL (the well known maker of loudspeakers, electronics, sound reinforcement systems and studio monitors.) Within 9 months Jimmy had become the Leadman in charge of Electronic Production.
Jimmy’s first solo album “Beyond the Crystal Sea” and “Warrior” the album by ArkAngel, are early examples of the Producing and Engineering skills of Hotz.
Both are listed amount “CCM’s 500 Best Albums of All Time” and both are considered Classics.
Below is the review from – The Best CCM Albums of All Time
BEYOND THE CRYSTAL SEA (1980) Jimmy Hotz
“The definitive and original Christian progressive rock album, Beyond the Crystal Sea is the masterpiece of an artist that may be one of the most important people in the history of all of rock music that very few may even be aware of.Musicians around the world have been indebted to Hotz’s work and may not even realize it.
He is the inventor of the Hotz Box, Midi Vest, Atari Hotz Box, MIDI Translator and host of other commonly used and creatively important electronic advances. In fact, Hotz is also responsible for integrating 3D Graphics and manipulating their movement through computer technology.
Hidden amongst his technological achievements is also a brilliant composer, arranger, instrumentalist and songwriter. his musical vision met his technological genius ion 1980’s brilliant Gospel themed “Beyond the crystal Sea.” Like much of progressive rock Hotz borrows from fantasy literature and themes and infuses them into clear Biblical messages.
This album is “Art Rock” at its finest. Fans of early Genesis and experimental rock fans of Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd will love what Hotz creates here. Songs are complex, with intricate changes and musical instrumental breaks interspersed with more commercial rock vocal influences. But one great joy is Hotz ability to remain accessible with this album and not alientate those outside of the limited “art rock” fan base.
There are layers of vocals, keyboards and guitars creating a much larger than life wall of sound. There is no doubt that modern Progressive Rock legends like Dream Theatre and Neal Morse were heavily influenced and inspired by Hotz’s work. It should also be noted that Hotz also had a hand in producing the classic Ark Angel album to be discussed later.”