James began studying piano at the age of 7. He immersed himself in Classical music, with dreams of composing symphonies and concertos. (James used to “air-conduct” Beethoven’s 9th symphony). By the end of high school he was winning scholarships and competitions, seemingly on track to a conservatory education. However, his adolescent urges to “rock out” overwhelmed his Classical inclinations. At the age of 16 James added guitar lessons to his piano studies. Dreams of composing symphonies were replaced by dreams to form the next great Heavy Metal band. He carried this ambition to Berklee College of Music, as a guitar major.
James threw himself into his college studies; adding Jazz harmony and contemporary songwriting to his Classical skills. Ultimately, his Heavy Metal aspirations were not achieved; but he discovered a new fascination in acoustic fingerstyle guitar. James graduated from Berklee cum laude with degrees in Performance and Music Business.
After college, James played in several bands; but found that working in groups can be frustrating. He sought refuge in his roots, composing and performing more frequently as a soloist. In 2009 he began a songwriting collaboration with a talented singer. Together they completed a large catalog of original material, but after three years the partnership fizzled out. Unwilling to give up on their songs, James began singing them himself; while continuing to compose new solo music. He was now a singer/songwriter and instrumentalist.
In the Fall of 2014 he won a First Place in a local songwriting contest, singing his song “Wait For Me”. The prize was some free recording time. “Wait For Me” had already been released as a single. James decided it was time to record a complete album. By now he had enough original material for albums of piano, guitar, or vocals; but solo piano seemed the most practical choice. Solo Piano Destruction was released in 2015.
Being a multi-instrument, multi-style musician is a delicate balancing act in the 21st century; but James’ passions for all the music he loves won’t let him narrow his focus. Instead, he strives to be a modern equivalent to the great Classical masters, who would compose in all relevant styles of their time. Albums of acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and his vocal songs are all in the works; along with more piano music.
© 2014 James Woolwine | All Rights Reserved.