James Morrison is, by anybody’s standard, a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. Besides the trumpet, this multi-instrumentalist also plays piano, all the brass, saxophones and double bass.
His career thus far has been diverse and perhaps not typical of most jazz musicians. He recorded Jazz Meets the Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra, and performed concerts at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for Princess Anne.
James has performed his own Concerto with the Tonkünstler Orchestra at the Musikverein in Vienna and has appeared as a guest with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra at the Prague Proms and many of the world’s major orchestras.
He spends much time in education, doing master classes and workshops in many countries and presenting the James Morrison Jazz Scholarship at the world’s largest youth jazz festival, Generations in Jazz.
When not writing film scores, composing or serving as patron of some of Australia’s major music institutions, James relaxes in some fairly unconventional ways for a musician – flying his private plane or driving in a rally championship.
James has been recognised for his service to the arts in Australia by being appointed a member of the Order of Australia with particular mention of his contribution to music education.
The latest chapter in his diverse career sees James in Mount Gambier (SA) establishing the James Morrison Academy of Music, an innovative school dedicated to teaching jazz and offering a Bachelor Degree in Music.
With interests so broad and a career so filled with highlights it seems that James Morrison must have done just about everything he could want to do – but not so… When asked, “What is there left to do?” James’ reply is typically, “This is just the warm-up!”