Andre St. James
 

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Bassist Andre St. James is a cornerstone of the rich, thriving Pacific Northwest jazz scene and works regularly with his own quintet, the Andre St. James/Roger Woods Nonet, Mel Brown, Dan Balmer, Gordon Lee, Renato Caranto, Sandy Dennison, and Carlton Jackson among others. One of the best-known and most respected figures of Portland's jazz scene, St. James currently teaches at Portland's Northwest Academy and was a faculty member of the Mt. Hood Festival of Jazz from 1989 to 2004. He first came through Oregon in 1979 (on tour with the San Francisco-based Gregory James Quartet), liked what he saw and soon after relocated to the Eugene area and eventually to Portland (in 1986).

Possessing a voracious appetite for all forms of jazz, classical and improvised music, St. James counts among his all-time favorites the venerable ensembles of Charles Mingus, Horace Silver, Joe Henderson, John Coltrane's classic Quartet, Ornette Coleman, Bill Evans, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Lee Morgan, Mel Lewis-Thad Jones Orchestra, any of the kaleidoscopic array of Ellington Orchestras, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and the groundbreaking groups of both Dave Holland and Barre Phillips. All about camaraderie and community, St. James has a certain birds-of-a-feather impulse that has lead him into duos, trios, and larger ensembles in the company of other restlessly inventive bassists, including Junie Booth, Peter Barshay, Wilber Morris, Robert Miranda, Ed Kelly, Glen Moore, and Michael Bisio among others. Currently St. James is developing plans for a large, extended multidisciplinary collective that would anchor a nonprofit arts and cultural performance space.

 

 

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