Born September 18, 1967 in Rochester, New York, James, or as his friends call him "Jimmie" is a seasoned Jazz musician who began his musical incipiency at the mere age of 7. Jimmie began studying piano, which created an early basis for his music writing in his later years. His music teacher introduced him to and he began playing the saxophone, shortly thereafter. Recognizing Jimmie's promising potential, he was guided to study music at the Hochstein School of Music where he honed his ability to musically shine and stand out from his peers. Jimmie brought that same focus and thirst for music playing to the High School for Performing Arts. At the High School for the Performing Arts, Jimmie was exposed to a musically competitive environment of band competitions, jazz combo performances, and other competitive solo scenarios. In Jimmie's senior year of high school, he auditioned for and was accepted into the prestigious Eastman School of Music, where he played Baritone sax in the Eastman School Jazz Band.
After graduating from High School, Jimmie enlisted in the US Air Force. While stationed in New Jersey, Jimmie found himself in the ideal location to access the New York and Philadelphia jazz scenes. In the service, Jimmie formed a jazz band consisting of musicians from both the US Air Force and Army. The band played at many military events and performed in various countries as part of the entertainment for the International USO Tour. In 1992 Jimmie returned to Rochester where he launched his professional music career and the rest is history.
Jimmie has formed many jazz bands, which have been recognized as top regional jazz bands playing in big music festivals and clubs. Jimmie Highsmith, Jr. has performed with many notables such as: Paul Boutte, Chris Beard, Joe Beard, Wynton Marselis, Wessell Anderson, Carl Thomas, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Reed, Wynton Marsalis and Yolanda Adams. He and his band have also opened for many greats, like: Alicia Keys, Natalie Cole, Little Richard, Najee, "Papa John" DeFrancesco, Robert Cray Blues Band, Joyce Cooling, Montell Jordan, Shameika Copeland, Neville Brothers, Temptations, and the Isley Brothers.