James Emery (musician)

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James Emery
Born (1951-12-21) December 21, 1951 (age 69)
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
Genres Jazz, avant-garde, classical
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
Years active1969–present
Labels Enja, Black Saint, Between the Lines
Associated acts String Trio of New York
Website www.james-emery.com

James Emery (born December 21, 1951) is an American jazz guitarist. He grew up in Willoughby, Ohio and Shaker Heights, Ohio. Emery plays archtop guitar, semi-acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and soprano guitar. [1]



Emery's parents were musicians. His father Alva played trumpet, and his mother Rosemary played piano. Emery started playing organ when he was six. A few years later, he began taking classical guitar lessons. [1]

During his senior year in high school he taught guitar at a music store run by guitarist Bill DeArango, and during their free time Emery and DeArango played together. [1] [2] At the end of the 1960s, he studied composition and music theory at Cleveland State University. In 1973 Emery moved to New York City.

During the 1970s, Emery toured with the Human Arts Ensemble and guests Lester Bowie, George Lewis, and Philip Wilson. He also performed with Leroy Jenkins, Anthony Braxton, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Bobby Naughton, and Karl Berger. [1] [2] He taught at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York. [1] In 1977, he founded the String Trio of New York with violinist Billy Bang and bassist John Lindberg. [3]

Emery has written over one hundred fifty compositions for jazz trio, solo guitar, chamber ensembles, and symphony orchestras. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship for music composition [4] in 1995. He has worked with Muhal Richard Abrams, Derek Bailey, Ed Blackwell, Jerome Cooper, Mark Feldman, Gerry Hemingway, Dave Holland, David Izenzon, Joe Lovano, Butch Morris, Sunny Murray, Dewey Redman, Steve Reich, Sam Rivers, Sirone, Wadada Leo Smith, Chris Speed, Henry Threadgill, and John Zorn. [2] He has led ensembles which included Pheeroan akLaff, Jay Anderson, Ray Anderson, Thurman Barker, Tony Coe, Robert Dick, Marty Ehrlich, Michael Formanek, Drew Gress, Gerry Hemingway, Franz Koglmann, J. D. Parran, Ed Schuller, Rob Schwimmer  [ de ], and Judi Silvano. [1]


As leader

With the String Trio of New York

As sideman

With Anthony Braxton

With Wadada Leo Smith

With others

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