James began to learn the piano from an early age and in his teens began to venture onto the saxophone, under the tuition of Kate Fish. In 2007 he graduated from the University of Nottingham, where he read music and gained a First-class in his performance finals under the tuition of Alistair Parnell. Later in the same year he attained a Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music with distinction.
James continues to perform as a recitalist, orchestral saxophonist and with big bands, whilst reading theology at the University of Cambridge. In 2013 he was awarded the Trinity Hall Music Prize and Trinity Hall Instrumental Award. Alongside recent solo appearances, he is also lead saxophone with the Cambridge University Musical Society Symphony Orchestra and the Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra. In 2014, he is due to appear as soloist with the Cambridge University Wind Orchestra in Ingolf Dahl's 'Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Winds'. He is leader of The Cigar Cutters saxophone quartet and is Co-Musical Director of Churchill Jazz Band at the University of Cambridge. On occasion, James plucks out a variety of woodwind instruments of all shapes and sizes for pit band performances.
James continues to play as a pianist, accompanying classical, jazz and pop performances, and has in recent years branched out as a chapel organist and harpsichordist.
James's compositions and arrangements available on SXP include: