Trumpeter Jim Rotondi began his musical studies at a very early age. His mother, a piano teacher, encouraged Jim to begin playing the piano at age eight. He took up the trumpet at age twelve.
In 1980 Jim graduated from Butte High School in Butte,Montana. He then attended North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas), where he graduated with a degree in trumpet performance. While in Texas, Jim was awarded first place in the International Trumpet Guild's jazz trumpet competition for the year 1984. After college Jim began recording and touring internationally with the Ray Charles Orchestra