The name “James Morrison” is known throughout the world for his sheer brilliance as a jazz musician and an all round entertainer. He is constantly on the move, touring everywhere and anywhere fine music has an audience. His recordings are best sellers and James works with the cream of the world’s best performers. Ray Brown called him “The Genius” and Dizzy Gillespie called him “One of The Best” but Wynton Marsalis summed it up: “Man, James Morrison can play!”
James Morrison is, by anybody’s standard, a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. Besides the trumpet, this multi-instrumentalist also plays piano, all the brass, saxophones, and double bass.
At the age of seven, he was given his first instrument, at nine he formed his first band and at thirteen he was playing professionally in nightclubs. His international career developed just as quickly. At age sixteen James debuted in the USA with a breathtaking concert at the Monterey Jazz Festival.
Following this were performances at the big festivals in Europe including Montreux, Pori, North Sea, Nice and Bern – playing with many of the legends of jazz. Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Woody Shaw, Red Rodney, George Benson, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ray Brown and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. There were also gigs in the world’s most famous jazz clubs – The Blue Note and Village Vanguard in New York, the New Morning in Paris, The Tokyo Blue Note and Ronnie Scott’s in London.
Now 54, James Morrison’s career thus far has been diverse and perhaps not typical of most jazz musicians. He recorded Jazz Meets the Symphony with The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lalo Schifrin, performed concerts at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Princess Anne. Royal command performances on two occasions for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and for US Presidents Bush & Clinton at Parliament House in Australia. On International Jazz Day 2016, James was a guest of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. James has performed his own Concerto with the Tonkünstler Orchestra at the Musikverein in Vienna and has appeared as a guest with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra at the Prague Proms and many of the world’s major orchestras.
2017 highlights include a world premier of a jazz concerto written specially for James by Gordon Goodwin on International Jazz Day, return performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ronnie Scott’s and the Jazz Cruise, a debut at The Green Mill in Chicago, headline appearances at Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Canberra International Music Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival, Vale Jazz Festival Colorado and Grahamstown International Music Festival South Africa, an Australian tour with Grammy Award winning diva Patti Austin and featured appearances at the Sydney Opera House for Australia Day and the Australian Embassy in Washington DC for the Presidential Inauguration. 2017 recording releases include a recording of the Great American Songbook at Abbey Road Studios with the BBC Concert Orchestra. James also continues his education work with appearances in New Orleans at the Jazz Educator’s Network Conference and workshops at the Juilliard School, the Thelonious Monk Institute and University of North Texas’s One O’Clock Lab Band.