BIO - Richard A. James - performer and composer. many styles: jazz standards and blues, latin, pop/rock, reggae, ragtime selections and some classical as well
instruments of choice: piano, keyboards, electric and acoustic bass and vocals
Richard James is an innovative and talented artist who has far-ranging interests. For example, he was the lead music contributor from 1996 through 2001 for the amazingly popular bluemountain.com website (got to over a hundred million hits a month). He was constantly called upon to create short pieces to accompany the greeting cards which were abundantly available on the site. It was challenging and exhilarating, to be sure. Below are a few quick mp3 examples of what he used to do for the site…
Richard has a background in classical and jazz piano, studying privately in New York, beginning at age 6. He studied string bass in San Diego for several years with Bert Turetzky and played in many local orchestras. “It was great exposure to the classics….
He has performed solo and in groups extensively over the years in restaurants, nightclubs and concert situations, Broadway shows, and worked countless private engagements for clients in virtually all the major spots around San Diego, e.g. the Civic Theatre and Symphony Hall, all the major hotels and casinos in the area. Over the years he has played with such greats as Charles McPherson, Big MamaThornton, Jimmy Noone, James Moody, Jay McShann, Bobby Gordon, etc. as well as with most local legends such as Hollis Gentry, Teddy Picou, Peter Sprague, Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham, and Johnny Best, to name a few.
A few years back, Richard was musical director at the OB Playhouse for the show – The Spaceman of Ocean Beach. In the summer of 2015, Richard created a program for the SD Fair, in the Fine Arts section, to celebrate the centennial for the City of San Diego’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition that was held in Balboa Park in 1915.
In the last several years he also has been playing in various Senior facilities in the area. The people are so very appreciative, and they know the music and really enjoy these performances… I have been playing at Arbors during this last year. Everyone is so nice there. Sometimes I’ll pass out song sheets, sometimes I’ll play from a pre-arranged program, e.g. discussing some of America’s great composers. It’s been a lot of fun..