Ohio University

Matthew James





Matthew James

Associate Director, School of Music; Professor of Saxophone & Jazz Studies

Ohio University Saxophone Studio Website

Matthew James is Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies, and Associate Director of the Ohio University School of Music in Athens, Ohio. He serves as Director of Jazz Studies, and directs Jazz Ensemble I. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Toledo prior to joining the Ohio University faculty in 1997. James was the recipient of the 2008 Ohio University School of Music Outstanding Teaching Award.

An active teacher, clinician and performer, James has appeared at numerous regional, domestic, and international venues. International activities have included recitals and masterclasses at Universidad Nacional de Cuyo and World Flutes Festival (Mendoza, Argentina), Conservatorio Nacional de Musica (Buenos Aires, Argentina), and the University of Bergen (Bergen, Norway). He has collaborated with numerous saxophone studios across the United States, along with performances at conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, Society of Composers Inc., International Double Reed Society, College Music Society, and Jazz Education Network. His former students hold teaching and performing positions across America.

James performed as lead alto saxophonist for 1-1/2 years with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, touring the U.S., Canada, Japan and South America, recording, and appearing often on radio and television. He performed and recorded as lead alto saxophonist with the Phil Collins Big Band, touring 26 cities in the U.S. and Europe, including Montreux, Nice, The Hague, Milan, Copenhagen, Pori, and Carnegie Hall. His freelance work has included performances with the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Aretha Franklin, Mel Torme, the Temptations, Lou Rawls, Donna Summer, The Four Tops, Rosemary Clooney, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Four Freshmen, UpBeat Brass, Latin Jazz Project, Toledo Symphony, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., Los Viejos Blanquitos, Ohio Valley Symphony, and many others. He frequently performs with the New Remnants Jazz Orchestra and the Famous Jazz Orchestra. He has taught at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. In 2015 he became one of the ensemble directors for the Columbus Youth Jazz Program, the educational component of the Columbus Jazz Arts Group.

A native of Northbrook, Illinois, he was awarded B.A. degrees in music and journalism from Northern Illinois University, and the M.M. and D.M.A. in saxophone performance from the University of North Texas, where he was a teaching fellow and lead alto saxophonist with the internationally-acclaimed One O’Clock Lab Band. He has studied saxophone with Stephen Duke and James Riggs.

Recording credits include: Opening Lines (Matt James 2014 release available on iTunes and CD Baby); The Music of Brian Bevelander (Equilibrium Recordings); File Under Latin Jazz (Los Viejos Blanquitos on Brick City Records); A Hot Night in Paris (Phil Collins Big Band on Atlantic Records); Singin’ With the Big Bands (Barry Manilow with Glenn Miller Orchestra on Sony Legacy); and Unsung Hero (Top Brass).

Click for audio of Matthew James performing excerpts of Night Vision by Ohio University faculty composer Dr. Mark Phillips. Alejandro Cremaschi is pianist.

Night Vision, mvt. I excerpt

Night Vision, mvt. II excerpt

Night Vision, mvt. III excerpt

Educational Background:

DMA, University of North Texas; MM, University of North Texas; BA Music, Northern Illinois University; BA Journalism, Northern Illinois University

Classes Being Taught:

Jazz Ensemble I, Applied Saxophone, Saxophone Quartet, Saxophone Pedagogy, Saxophone Repertoire

Lab Space:

576 Glidden Hall