Born May 26th, 1991, in White Plains, New York, James was inclined to start playing the piccolo recorder in Munich, Germany. Shortly after learning how to read music, James began playing saxophone in the 2nd grade. James was a member of the New York State ‐ All State Jazz Band. James performed regularly at Ossining High School where he was a member of the elite Woodwind Ensemble and played 1st alto sax and flute in the Jazz Big Band and Jazz Workshop ensembles. James also performed periodically in Westchester County and New York City with groups from the Lagond Music School where he studied and has taught privately starting in 2003.
In college, at New York University, James had the distinct pleasure of working with musical masters, Lenny Pickett, Chris Potter, Kenny Werner, Rich Perry, John Scofield, Dave Pietro, to name a few. His time at NYU helped him hone his creativity and prowess as an artist.
James counts many saxophone legends as his influences and in his studies has produced transcriptions from the works of Sonny Stitt, Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley and Freddie Hubbard. James says, “Transcribing is the best way to advance musically; You train your ear, your sound, your technique, your musical ideas, your knowledge of the history and language, your theory, your writing and your overall musicality, all in one singular task. It’s like taking a private lesson from a legend.”
James does private events with saxophone, clarinet, flute, voice and piano.