Aged 11 James went to Christ’s Hospital School in Sussex, where he performed in various bands and orchestras. In 2004, while still at school, he travelled to London to study with one of Europe’s top multi-instrumentalists and NYJO alumnus, Jim Hart, who was a significant early influence and inspiration.
In 2005 James went to study jazz percussion at the Royal Academy of Music with Martin France as his drum tutor and, from then until 2007 also played drums with NYJO. Graduating from RAM in 2009 with a 1st Class Degree, James also won The Principal’s Award For Outstanding Studentship.
He enjoys listening to and performing all kinds of music and has shared the stage with many artists and ensembles, including the Gwilym Simcock and Kit Downes Trio, the Marc Copland/Stan Sulzman Quartet, the Mark McKnight Organ Quartet featuring Seamus Blake, the Ivo Neame Group, Phil Donkin, Alex Garnett’s Bunch of Five, Michael Janisch, the Martin Speake Quartet, Phronesis and the Jonathan Bratoeff Quartet among others.