James Danderfer

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Primary Instrument: Clarinet

Born: 1977    

“One of the best kept secrets in Canada, … a truly remarkable musician.” (- Bill King, Jazz Preview, Jazz FM91.1)

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, jazz clarinetist/composer James Danderfer has been traveling, studying and performing around the world since the age of 16. His travels first began when he was accepted into the prestigious Interlochen World Center For The Arts high school (USA) to study with renowned clarinetist Richard Hawkins. James attended the University of North Texas and later received a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from Western Michigan University where he was a featured soloist and composer in both concerts and recordings...
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Nominated for Best Jazz Clarinetist in the 2008 & 2009 National Jazz Awards. Recipient of the Grant For Artists by the Canada Council For The Arts
“I've found Danderfer's (Accelerated Development) disc yielding more pleasures and prompting more insights with repeated listenings. It's consistently full of strong, provocative compositions and hearty improvising. I like too that its allusions to China are more a matter of imagination than classical or stereotypical. … (James) is being true to the Shanghai he experienced, conveying a newcomer's sense of wonder and urgency, track after track, … this music is spirited and deeply resonant.” - Peter Hum (

“Accelerated Development is a daring, poignant jazz album depicting life in modern day Shanghai. With every song, clarinetist/composer James Danderfer weaves haunting melodies with an array of textures to bring the listener deeper into his musical world.” - Michael Vrielink (

“This talented clarinetist last wow’d with 2005’s underappreciated Run With It. Living in Shanghai, China, for the past three years hasn’t kept his profile in the public eye, either. But it did allow him to let his studies in the dynamics of modern Chinese urban culture infuse his writing. Danderfer’s nine originals (on Accelerated Development) display incredible writing. From the angular drive of Blues Migration to the pensive swing of Memory Loss, this is beautiful and moving.” - Stuart Derdeyn (The Province newspaper)

“James Danderfer is one of the best kept jazz secrets in Canada. A clarinetist on par with the great Eddie Daniels - Danderfer plays with the same passion, clarity and virtuosity. A truly remarkable musician.” - Bill King (Jazz Preview, Jazz Fm91.1)

… “a fascinating young musician, James Danderfer makes the (clarinet) fit into modern jazz in a way that makes it sound like it's never been missing. The James Danderfer Group makes a stellar debut with Run With It - a must for any jazz collection.” - Andy Sheppard (CBC Radio ‘After Hours’)

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CD/LP/Track Review

Accelerated Development by Raul d'Gama Rose

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