Born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, John's musical beginnings were in rock and roll, blues, and acoustic performances. As a young man he was inspired by the texture and tone of legendary singer Andy Williams. Years later, it was Joni Mitchell's expressive vocals, melodies and poetic imagery that encouraged his early songwriting.
During the 1970's some of John's work was featured on an album distributed by Columbia Records, notably his cover version of Leonard Cohen's "Bird on a Wire" and John's original composition "Take a Lesson From the Children." As a solo artist he opened concerts for Livingston Taylor, Dave Van Ronk and others.
Following a rather dramatic conversion experience in 1974, John responded to an inner sense, a "vocation", which resulted in his leaving a promising career in the contemporary music industry and devoting his life and talents to communicating the message of the Gospel of Jesus, the love and mercy of God. He now knew this unconditional love and forgiveness for himself and passionately wanted to share it with others.
What began as a small gathering of friends for song and prayer after Saturday evening Mass flourished into a weekly coffeehouse. For six years, people from all over New England filled the church hall as John performed his music and spoke of the love of Christ. He received invitations from area churches and so began the life's work of this "minstrel for the Lord."
For over twenty-five years, John has brought this message to thousands of people through his live performances, television and radio shows, and recordings in the USA and for the two years he was based in Great Britain. Catholic, Protestant and independent churches alike have welcomed and endorsed his work.
John, a member of the Catholic Association of Musicians, has been a feature artist on EWTN's "Say Yes" with Dana, the National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Vision New England Men's Conference. He has opened concerts for Dion DiMucci, Phil Driscoll and Kathy Troccoli. At the invitation of Bishop Ambrose Griffiths of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese, England, John and his family left the USA in 1993 for two years to work in the diocese there and beyond. While in Great Britain, John performed at the Youth 2000 Prayer Festivals, the Greenbelt Festival and on the BBC's "Sunday" program with Gloria Hunnerford.
John's performances, whether in a church, concert hall, or coffeehouse setting, are evenings of song, prayer and witness. His presentations include parish missions, renewal conferences, retreat weekends, and healing services.
With a belief in music as the 'universal language', one that knows no cultural or generational boundaries, John sets forth to reach those deep places in the human heart, that often times cannot be reached by words alone. With his own unique style, John's songs paint vivid pictures of the Gospel stories and bring the words of Jesus to life, while drawing his listeners ever closer to that "secret place" in their own hearts where, as Jesus Himself told us, the Father dwells.
Your presence is a gentle wind...
* Lyrics from "Holy Desire" © 1996 John Polce, ASCAP, reproduced by permission.
For more information about his albums or to arrange a concert booking, write to: