James began studying violin at the age of 8, and he quickly became interested in playing music. Several years later, James began learning folk and fiddle music, and had his first encounters with improvisation. The idea of creating music struck a chord, leading to a youth full of musical exploration, culminating in the choice to pursue Music Composition.
While at Eastern Illinois University, James' passion for performance and improvisation was reignited upon discovering jazz. This passion was reinforced through his interest in street performing, which resulted in the combination of fiddle, rock, and jazz improvisation with popular music. James's influences include Jean-Luc Ponty, Stephane Grappelli, Dexter Gordon, Paul Desmond, and Joe Satriani.
As a composer, his music focuses on the combination of twentieth-century techniques with more traditional 19th-century styles in order to write works that fit between the lines of aesthetic and complex music. This sort of combination can be found in the music of Berg, Schnittke, and Rzewski, while my other musical influences include Liszt, Dvoark, Debussy, Scriabin, Bartok, and Glass
James received his BA in Violin Performance with Composition Concentration from EIU, where he is currently working towards an MA In Music Composition. James studied violin under Anna Cromwell, composition under Brad Decker, and Jazz under Paul Johnston.
He currently resides in Frederick, Maryland