A native of Memphis, Tennessee, and alumnus of Stax Music Academy, James is an extraordinary old-school crooner on the order of Curtis Mayfield, Smokey Robinson, and Donny Hathaway. His songwriting not only reflects his deep catalog of musical influences, it depicts his concern for the historical struggles and triumphs of Black men and women in America – sensibilities that grew from his life in Memphis.
After relocating to Austin, James made a name for himself on the local scene performing with bands such as Temple Underground and The Bells of Joy, and he recently performed a concert with Sinbad the comedian. He is currently touring with jazz drummer Brannen Temple of Temple Underground, and with Bobby Sparks, the master jazz/soul keyboardist of Grammy Award winning jazz group Snarky Puppy and late jazz trumpeter, Roy Hargrove’s band RH Factor. He has also been working with trumpet master Hannibal Lokumbe’s Healing Tones Jazz Workshop. He has performed at the Orpheum Theatre and New Daisy of Memphis, the legendary Bitter End and Rockwood Music hall in NYC, The Black Cat Jazz Club in San Francisco, and premier venues in Austin TX including the Continental Club, Stubbs, ACL , Antone’s and the Moody Theater. Throughout his career James has opened for Dwele (an international neo-soul singer), Blues legends Bobby Blue Bland and Bobby Rush, and rock & roll legendary band Living Color.
His music is influenced by a combination of jazz, gospel, soul, rhythm and blues, funk and alternative rock. He has been featured on albums by keys virtuoso Bobby Sparks, JaRon Marshall of the Black Pumas, guitar legend Eric Johnson (EJ ) Singer Jennifer Warnes ("Another Time, Another Place"), jazz virtuoso Drummer Brannen Temple (New Dawn).