James won his first music prize at the Edinburgh Music Festival in Scotland playing the recorder. As a choir singer, his first radio solo was as a caroler raising Christmas funds for the needy, and on TV singing the national anthem for CBC. As senior chorister for the St. Matthias Choir, James performed Wagner with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, recorded solos on albums distributed internationally, appeared in a Gilbert & Sullivan production, and performed on North American choir tours and public TV and radio.
At the New England Conservatory he performed with the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble, and as soloist at All State festivals, went on to win the Massachusetts Chamber Prize and audition for Seiji Ozawa for the Young Concert Artist series. Awarded the Gold Medal in Performance at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada, James won the Professional Music Scholarship to Berklee College. He performed for George Benson and Gary Burton, and appeared in concert with Roy Hargrove and Paula Cole and as a member of the Boston Jazz Flute Ensemble. He won the Concerto Competition and Songwriter Contests alongside Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
In New York James wrote and performed the song, "Beauty Inside" (BMG Select) to benefit the Cancer Society's 'Look Good Feel Better' program and recorded at Phillip Glass studios and as soloist on numerous recordings. He was a founding member of the 'Liss-Wallace' Duo, and toured arts festivals throughout America, appearing as soloist at Carnegie Hall by invitation of the NY Performing Arts. James has studied at Juilliard with Dianne Nicholls, and with Mario Duschenes, Robert Aitken, Donelda Hunter, Doug Stewart, and Matt Marvuglio.
Recently James teamed up with Denis Keldie, the producer of the show, 'Celtic Electric,' on the album, "A Red, Red Rose" (CBM). It features a best-selling iTunes recording of the traditional song, "Oh, Danny Boy" (available at Amazon, iTunes, Target, CDBaby).