Q&A with James
Which musician would you like to play with?
Which musician has influenced you the most?
What can you teach me better on your instrument than any other teacher?
I can teach you how to make your instrument a part of your daily life.
How did you learn to play your instrument?
I started at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and dedicated myself to the guitar. I continued my studies at Manhattan School of Music and Eastman School of Music.
What equipment do you play on today?
I play on a 1972 Arturo Grau y Farre (in the workshop of Jacques Camurat).
Which personal trait helped you the most while practicing?
Perseverance. It was a trait that became important to me after watching a documentary on harpsichordist Scott Ross. He noted the difference between patience and perseverance. Perseverance is required to do great things with your music.
What does your instrument have that others don't?
The guitar has the gift of color. The guitar has the ability to make any phrase sound unique.
How do you handle children?
I work well with children and enjoy seeing the connections made through the learning process.
What has been your greatest experience as a musician so far?
My greatest experience as a musician so far has been playing for Carlos Barbosa-Lima. He is an incredible musician and it was an incredible opportunity to meet him.
What was the biggest stage you played on?
The biggest stage I played on was Avery Fischer Hall (now David Geffen Hall).
Which record would you take with you to the desert island?
Joni Mitchell's Blue
Besides music, what else is important in your life?
I like to travel, hike, and sail.
Level(s) Comfortable Teaching
What languages can you teach in?
What's your age?
Bands, Projects, Notable Performances, Collaborations
Two Ravens (Violin/Guitar Duo) Zwahlen/Garber (Oboe/Guitar Duo) Solo Recital, Lightner Museum, Saint Augustine, FL (2018) Solo Recital, Harn Museum, University of Florida (2018) Composition Premiere, Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music (2016) Researching the Son musical traditions within Mexico.
Other Music-related work / goals
Worked for the Eastman Computer Music Center providing support for electronic music concerts and as a TA.
Deans List (Manhattan School of Music) The Manhattan School of Music Presidents’ Scholarship for Musical Merit Eastman School of Music Graduate Teaching Assistantship and Scholarship
Recreational Mathematics Sound Design/Audio Engineering Programming Hiking Sailing