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Elite amongst Jazz musicians for the past 30 years, Stafford James received his musical training in the classical repertoire at the Chicago Conservatory and at Mannes College of Music. For his pleasure Stafford James kept practicing and playing the classical repertoire of his instrument, the contrabass. His programmes go from J.S. Bach to Kodaly’s Sonatina to Mozart, Brahms, Rossini and Ravel amongst others.

At this stage in his life of musician and composer Stafford James has decided to provide another outlet to his career as a concert performer by exploiting the classical repertoire.

Why such a move away from his traditional Jazz public? The reason for this is simple: because the intensity of his expressiveness is tied to a deep sense of equilibrium and nuances; because his playing is endowed with a stupefying rhythmic precision - the very foundation of great Jazz - and because his playingreveals an emotional strength of such rare quality Stafford James deserves to reach a larger audience than that of the usual Jazz “aficionados”.

Stafford James possesses the highest and most perfect sense of positioningand structuring of a work. His rhythmic vitality in concert enables him to confer a quasi incredible dimension – that is to say never yet heard before – to compositions from Old Masters from which, a priori, one would never have expected notable surprises. To see and hear Stafford James play Bach’s Suite or Brahms’ Hungarian Dances is an unforgettable experience…

In addition, the manner in which Stafford James exploits all of the resources of the contrabass with his bow shows how wrong are those who only see the contrabass as an instrument for pizzicati in a Jazz band or as a “valet” in a symphonic orchestra.
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