James grew up in Cape Town, South Africa (after appearing initially at a Manchester hospital in the UK).
After trying hand (and lips) at a number of musical instruments went for the guitar as this seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Hanging out at the Jazz Workshop in Cape Town got to learn a lot and meet plenty of musicains from all over the place. Spent many teenage years hanging out at the local jazz gigs and watching the older cats play.
Amazing players like Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Jonathan Butler, Basil Moses, John Fourie, Merton Barrow. In between lots of playing with lots of musicians eg: Billy Hart (Wes Montgomery, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock and many more) Hein Van De Geyn (Dee Dee Bridgewater, John Abercrombie, Hein is also head of Challenge Jazz) Natascha Roth, Andrew Lilley, Coleman Mellet (Chuck Mangione), Jeanie Bryson (Terrance Blanchard, Grover Washington), Hotep Idris Galeta (Jackie Mclain), Winston Mankunku Ngozi, John Fourie, Jack Van Poll, Stacey Rowles, Paul Hamner, Gavin Minter, Philip Aertes to name a few.
Since 2003 James has been getting around Europe South Africa and the US. He still would like to go to South America and the Far East and is working on it.