About

I recently relocated to Berlin….Grew up in the UK and Cape Town, South Africa . After trying my hands (and lips) on a number of musical instruments finally settled on the guitar.

My youth was spent hanging out at the Jazz Workshop in Cape Town. Got to learn a lot and meet plenty of musicians from all over the place. Spent many teenage years playing local jazz gigs and watching the cats play. After leaving high school formed the band Wired The Floor with singer Gavin Minter, keyboard player Paul Hanmer and drummer Kevin Gibson which went on to become one of the leading afrojazz fusion bands in South Africa during the late 80’s early 90′ and opened shows for artists such as Paul Simon and Eric Clapton.

Education includes a stint studying jazz and classical guitar at the University Of Cape Town in Cape Town and in Graz, Austria as well as taking private lessons with guitarists Dave Cliff, Jack Wilkins, Wayne Brasel, Johnny Fourie plus workshops with Jim Hall, John Abercrombie

Here’s a quote about me from bass player Hein van de Geyn : James is a prolific composer and his affinity with the music of Southern Africa gives his music a very personal signature.

For the last few years I’ve been touring regularly with Curtis Stigers and as a leader I recorded “All Stations” for the Dutch Label Challenge Jazz with legendary jazz drummer Billy Hart and produced by bassist Hein van de Geyn.

Composed music for a number of Thomas Roth’s ARD TV documentaries ”Die Spur des Bären”

I have performed and recorded with Curtis Stigers Billy Hart, Barry Miles, Coleman Mellett, Jeanie Bryson George Mesterhazy, Jim Ridl, Natascha Roth, Keith Copeland, Will Lee, Tim Lekan, Bob Shomo, Gavin Minter, Hotep Idris Galeta, Oli Rockberger, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, John Fourie, Jack Van Poll, Hein Van De Geyn, Stacey Rowles, Basil Moses, Kevin Gibson, Paul Hamner, Andrew Lilley, Yuri Honig, Rolf Römer, Ian Herman, Denny Lalouette, Shannon Mowday, Kesivan Naidoo, Buddy Wells, Louis Mhlanga, Bruce Cassidy, Maurice Gawronsky, Jennifer Furguson, Wendy Oldfield, Marc Alex, Falling Mirror to name drop a few.

4 thoughts on “About

    • Thanks Gemma, really appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed the show. Let me know when you publish your review. Greetings from Berlin. James

      • No worries! I’ll let you know when it’s published. Was the Willie Dickson blues you played called ‘My Babe’? Just wanted to make double sure! Thank you. Best wishes, Gemma (www.gemmaboyd.com) – My WordPress blog is out of date!

      • Yes, it’s called My Babe. Curtis recorded on his albun I Think It’s Going To Rain Today. It’s always a fun one to play. Cheers James

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