French horn player and trombonist who put himself in the middle of the action—Los Angeles, California—in 1974 and went on to perform with the Fine Arts Brass Quintet and the L.A. Philharmonic, as well as doing some film work and enjoying success as a session musician.
He has been the Principal Horn with the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Glendale Symphony, the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, and the Santa Monica Symphony, and served as Associate Principal Horn with the Utah Symphony Orchestra under Maurice Abravanel.
One of his earliest assignments as a session musician was Bautista’s 1978 album, The Heat of the Wind. In 1979, he appeared on Frank Sinatra’s boxed set, Trilogy. Three years later, he played French horn on Lionel Richie’s self-titled debut album.
On 22nd February 1985 he performed with the Santa Barbara Woodwind Quintet as part of the South Bay Chamber Music Society Inc.’s concert series. The program was mixed bag that included the music of Johannes Brahms, Darius Milhaud, Walter Piston and Anton Reicha.
No less eclectic was the 15th December 1989 concert he performed with the Fine Arts Brass Quintet, also under the SBCMS umbrella, and featuring music ranging from Michael Praetorius’s “Dances from Terpsichore” to fellow Fine Arts musician Anthony Plog’s “Animal Ditties”, a sort of “Carnival of the Animals” for brass, with poetry by Ogden Nash. You can check out the FABQ on the Centaur Records release, The Art of Fugue.
Since 1996, he has been a member of the faculty at California State University-Long Beach, directing their horn studies program. It certainly hasn’t retarded his recording career: He has recorded with Michael Bolton, David Foster, James Ingram, Stan Kenton, Monica Mancini, Barry Manilow, Mannheim Steamroller, and Ronnie Milsap.
In 2004, as a member of the Southwest Chamber Music Ensemble, he appeared on Chavez: Complete Chamber Music, Vol. 2, which won a Grammy. Being in L.A. afforded him the opportunity to perform on some movie soundtracks, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and the Star Trek films. He also appears on the soundtrack albums, Family Guy Live in Las Vegas and The Simpsons: Testify.
He has performed with the Local 47 Paulist Choristers Orchestra in a program at Westwood United Methodist and in tandem with the SCV Master Chorale as part of their holiday concerts. James also joined the ranks of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra for their 2007-2008 season.
This is the theme from “Stripes” on which James performed.