Alexis talks to James King about life on tour with Bruno Mars, how he ended up becoming a professional touring trumpet player, the importance of music in the public school system and his ongoing solo projects.
James discovered his true love for the trumpet after taking a two year absence to play high school
football and the drums. When he returned to the trumpet, he was introduced to jazz by his music
director. “Jazz was the only genre in which I heard a commanding voice for the trumpet. In jazz music,
you’re not boxed in and you are free to make your own interpretations,” James said. He began
performing with the jazz ensemble in school that competed regularly at the Berklee College of Music Jazz
Festival. While a member, the ensemble placed 2nd at the Norwalk Jazz Festival and performed at various
events across the state. James’s presence in the jazz, symphonic orchestra and concert bands contributed
to the one gold and two silver awards in the Heritage Festival, making it evident that he possessed a
James received a B.A. in Music/Trumpet Performance from Morehouse College in 2006 and a Masters in
Jazz Studies from Georgia State University in 2009. Since 2003 James has performed at the Ray Charles
Tribute in Beverly Hills, CA, Atlanta Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Essence Festival and the
IAJE. He has also recorded and/or performed with Mary J. Blige, John Legend, David Banner, Janelle
Monae, Pj Morton, Algebra Blessett, Monica, Angie Stone, Lionel Hampton Tribute Band and many others.
Residing in Atlanta, GA, James continues to teach, perform and record. He plans to release his debut
album in the year of 2012.
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