Born: November 12, 1968 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Born in Toronto, James Duncan has been a Producer and Trumpet player for over 30 years.
He is active in a number of diverse musical genres, ranging from Free Jazz and the Downtown/Avant Garde scenes to Indie Rock, House Music and Disco. Shortly after his relocating to New York City in 1999, he was invited to join IZITITZ, a collective of contemporary Improvisors organized by TEST and No Neck Blues Band bassist Matthew Heyner. The group played numerous shows up and down the East Coast, releasing recordings on No Neck’s Sound@1 Record Label, in addition to playing in numerous groups, sessions and gigs on the New York Free Jazz/Downtown improv scene in during the early 2000s.
Keenly interested in Club Music and Culture, and a Producer of club based tracks since the mid 1990s (and DJing since 1983 starting at the age of 13), his House Music productions have been supported by House legends such as Larry Heard and Pal Joey up to newer acts such as Motor City Drum Ensemble, Soul Clap and Le Loup. He has released solo 12” singles on Dancetracks, respected London imprint Real Soon (Run by Paul Hammond) and his own label, Le Systeme Records, which he started in 1999.
He has appeared as a Trumpet player on underground Dance Music records such as Metro Area’s debut CD (BBC Radio 1 Dance CD of the Year 2002), Metro Area “5” 12, Morgan Geist’s “Double Night Time” CD and “Super” EP, all on Environ Records and on The Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lover’s” 12” (M.Geist Remix), the first release on DFA Records, run by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.
A busy musician, he has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival, PS1/Moma Warm Up Series, The Winter Music Conference in Miami, The Sonic Fiction Festival in Warsaw, Poland, Tonic (NYC), The Knitting Factory (Manhattan), Roulette (NYC), ABC No Rio (NYC), CBGB’s, The Toronto International Jazz Festival (Next Wave Series), The Guelph International Jazz Festival, The Detroit Electronic Music Festival (Official Movement After Party) and John Zorn’s The Stone in NYC.
Artists he has performed and/or recorded with include: Metro Area (Environ), Morgan Geist (Environ), Glenn Branca (99 Records), IZITITIZ (Sound@1), Rhys Chatham (Nonesuch), The Rapture (M. Geist remix on DFA), Juini Booth (Sun Ra, McCoy Tyner), Butch Morris, Kelley Polar (Environ), NY Improv drummers Tom Bruno (TEST) and Marc Edwards (Cecil Taylor), Sabir Mateen (William Parker, TEST), Daniel Carter (Other Dimensions in Music, TEST), Ras Moshe (Music Now), Ernie Brooks (The Modern Lovers), Arthur’s Landing (Strut), The Silent League (Mercury Rev/Arcade Fire), Nirosta Steel, Chris Corsano (Bjork), Jon DeRosa (Rocket Girl) and Aarktica (Darla).
James studied trumpet with Dr Jeffrey Reynolds (U of T), Larry Weeks (Principal, Toronto Symphony), Barton Woomert (Toronto Symphony), Laurie Frink and trumpet improvisation with Raphe Malik (Cecil Tayor, Jimmy Lyons). He continues to study with Scott Wendholt (Vanguard Orchestra).