Barely out of Junior High School, his first group was a doo-wop street corner quintet called the Velons. By the early sixties, he had become an excellent percussionist, playing almost exclusively with Latin bands around New York.
Jimmy became lead singer, percussionist and founding member of Ambergris, and played with them for a few years. For the next two or three years, he worked with several bands and did session work. By the mid seventies, his career took off.
Jimmy's playing became so crucial to obtaining a certain sound that artists began recognizing his contribution. Both the Doobie Brothers' "What A Fool Believes" and The Jacksons' "Shake Your Body" credit him not just on the back covers but on the record labels themselves.
In 1980, working with Michael Barbiero and John Luongo, he released his solo album for Epic/Columbia entitled "Beats Workin'".