James Brown inspires students of all ages and, as a faculty member of the Royal Conservatory School since 2001, is a dedicated and passionate teacher. Praised for his abilities as a guitarist, composer and improviser, James is a member of the College of Examiners at the Royal Conservatory.
Whether it be “just for fun” or in preparation for a professional career, classes with James are creative and goal-oriented.
James has studied at The Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto. His guitar teachers include Richard Bradley, Robert Hamilton, Norbert Kraft, Leo Brouwer, David Russell, John Abercrombie and Mick Goodrick. He also studies composition with teachers Philip Corke and Alexander Rapoport. James has a Master of Arts Degree in Composition from York University.
Throughout his 30-year teaching career, James has fostered outstanding student success. Past and current students have earned excellent examination results, including Silver Medals (RCM). Others have formed critically acclaimed rock groups, opened recording studios, have entered post secondary music programs, and one student even performed for the Prime Minister of Canada.
James' compositions have been performed and recorded by many leading artists and ensembles including, Orchestra Toronto, Jeffery McFadden, William Beauvais, Trinity Chamber Ensemble, The Montreal Guitar Trio and the University of Toronto Guitar Ensemble. His compositions are also featured in The Royal Conservatory’s Guitar Syllabus, 2011 Edition and Bridges: A Comprehensive Guitar Series.
James has appeared with many of Canadian and international Artists including The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (with Eric Idol), Esprit Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, Can Stage, Art of Time Ensemble, and Sound Streams Canada (with The Hilliard Ensemble, and Steve Reich). He taught at the National Guitar Workshop (1996) and an assistant to Mick Goodrick, and is Co-founder and Creative Director of Ukulele Heroes.
Languages Spoken: English and French
Age of Student: 6 years and up
Musical Styles: Jazz Improvisation, Classical, Contemporary, Blues, Rock, Folk
Instruments / Subjects: Guitar (Classical, Acoustic and Electric), Jazz Improvisation (all instruments), Ukulele, Composition, Harmony, Rudiments, Counterpoint, Analysis, Ear Training/Musicianship