After completing his studies at NTSU, James decided to pursue a full time career as a performing musician. He began touring with several pop groups and had an opportunity to play with the musical accompaniment that backed up the singing group The Chiffons. As he continued to travel, he found himself back in Dallas where he had another very special opportunity to play with the jazz great, pianist Red Garland.
In 1974, James moved back to New York City and further broadened his musical experiences as a musician doing some studio work, playing club dates with original jazz groups such as Odessey, Bermuda Triangle and Unity. All while pursuing a teaching career and obtaining a Masters degree from LIU in Music Education. Over the past ten years, James has continued to study music and percussion and is presently studying with Sam Ulano.
James continues to perform in various musical settings including The Long Island Jazz Orchestra, a sixteen piece traditional jazz ensemble. Frog Cafe, a five piece original progressive rock/jazz band that has toured worldwide. And Gravity, a jazz quartet consisting of two saxophones, bass and drums. Gravity has released a self-titled CD and they perform throughout the tri-state area. James is presently on the music faculty in Northport/East Northport School District teaching instrumental music and continues to teach privately.