In high school, James was engrossed with rhythm and blues music of the day and helped develop “The Golden Tones”, later renamed the “Kool Gents” after still-famous Chicago Disc Jockey, Herb Kent. Dee Clark emerged and went on to become a singing sensation. James’ idol in Chicago radio was William “Big Bill” Hill because he was an independent producer of his blues show. From Chicago, James took time out to serve his country in the Army.
West Coast Jazz was hot and heavy, drawing James to move to Los Angeles and Hollywood in 1964. There he would continue his higher education, gain substantial experience and make life-long friends. He enrolled in L.A. City College where he found a mentor in Professor David Wells, in whom he still confides. Later in the 70s while attending Don Martin School of Communication, James started in radio at KPFK Pacific Radio with the Mr. Mystic Jazz program for three years, followed by one year on the air with KJLH in Los Angeles playing easy listening music and smooth jazz.
James was soon managing the Los Angeles Solo Repertory Orchestra in the San Fernando Valley. Under the tutelage of Music director James Swift, he produced and coordinated Musical Awareness and Educational Programs and symphony development in ethnic communities. With Professor Wells’ guidance, James learned media production, and publicity and promotion for motion pictures and theater, which further led him into movie, theater and opera production.
O’ahu Hawaii has been James home closing in on for over three decades working at radio and television stations. From 2001 to 2003, he produced his own independent radio show, The Jazz Intersection, on KUMU AM, produced “Jazz Education” with “The Jazz Intersection at ‘Iolani” high school, in 2009 on O’ahu and produced a memorable 3 day “Jazz & Gumbo” show, in 2008, and “The ABC’s of Jazz” at Kapolei Library in 2010. In November 2011, James had the opportunity of being an “Old Salt,” in the movie “Battleship.”
In February of 2012, was Assistant Director and Sound Design for TAG (The Actors Group) for the successful (sold out 14 of 15 shows) “7 Guitars,” on March 26, 2012, performed the lead role in the reading play, “Justice for Maurice Carter at the Moana Valley Theater. December 4-5-6 2015 Assistant Director & Sound Design for the play “August In The City Of Bones,” as TAG (the actors group) celebrates the work of August Wilson. Completely improvised play. (Videos available)
2016 finds James as a writer and consultant for the local made full length movie “POPOLO,” which is now making movie festival tours, in search of distributors or buyers.
In keeping with the times, James has taken his radio show to the world through audio and video podcasting, enabling enthusiasts to listen to any of the shows he has hosted – any hour, any day, from anywhere. James’ life-long passion for jazz in all its forms awaits you at The Jazz Intersection.