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Matthew James

Professor of Saxophone & Jazz Studies

576 Glidden Hall
(740) 593-0957

Matthew James

Professor of Saxophone & Jazz Studies

Ohio University Saxophone Studio:


Matthew James is Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies and Associate Director of the Ohio University School of Music in Athens, Ohio. His 2014 release, Opening Lines, is available on iTunes and CD Baby.  James was the recipient of the 2008 Ohio University School of Music Outstanding Teaching Award.  He joined the OU faculty in 1997.


An active performer, James has appeared at numerous national and regional conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance. 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 Society of Composers Inc., International Double Reed Society, College Music Society, and Jazz Education Network.  James was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Toledo prior to joining the Ohio University faculty, and has served on the faculty of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.   


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 also performed and recorded as lead alto saxophonist with the Phil Collins Big Band, touring 26 cities in the U.S. and Europe, including jazz festivals in Montreux, Nice, The Hague, Milan, Copenhagen, Pori, and performances in 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, Jim Nabors, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Four Freshmen, UpBeat Brass, Toledo Symphony, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., Los Viejos Blanquitos, the Ohio Valley Symphony, and many others. James is a member of the Latin Jazz Project, and frequently performs with the New Remnants Jazz Orchestra and the Famous Jazz Orchestra.


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.  


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