James Barela was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming and began his musical/trumpet training at 10. James learned quickly and was soon forming and booking his own jazz and rock combos. After graduating high school, James attended Northwest College and studied with Neil Hansen, Mike Masterson, and Ronnie Bedford (whose group James regularly performed with). James later transferred to the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music/trumpet performance and a Master of Music/composition both with honors. While at Lamont his teachers included: Joe Docksey, Dan Kuehn, Bob Montgomery, Dave Hanson, Malcolm Lynn Baker, Vincent Laguardia, Donald Keats, and Art Bouton. During his stay, James became a first call trumpeter with many of Denver's finest musicians and performed in a number of diverse musical settings. Some of those he performed with are Bob Montgomery, Willie Hill, Sam Bivens, Joe Bonner, Eric Gunnison, Freddie Rodriquez, Ronnell Bright, Mitchell Long and Hi-Fi-Mo-Fo, Drew Morell, Paul Musso, Rich Chiarluce, Tony Klatka, Backstreet, Art Lande, Paul Romaine, Lou Fischer, Ron Miles, Bruno Carr, and Raw Brass, just to name a few. James also made a bigger name for himself with his quintet co-led by tenor saxophonist Pete Peterson. This group, which included Shamie Royston, Artie Moore, and Rudy Royston, placed runner-up in the Cognac-Hennessy jazz search. In 1998, James moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and continued his musical career as a first call lead/jazz trumpeter with many of the best groups and shows including, Jump, Jive, and Wail, Dian Diaz, Patty Janura, Sin City Daddies, Tropical Splash,Backstreet, Storm, David Poe, and countless others. James has also become a requested writer/arranger/producer for many of Las Vegas' finest. On the national/international scene James has performed with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Cyrus Chesnut, David Amram, Mike Stern, Joel Kaye's Neophonic Big Band, the Ronnie Bedford Quartet, Bill Watrous, Butch Miles, Byron Stripling, Clay Jenkins, Kim Richmond, Lew Tabakin, Bobby Shew, Jamey Abersod, Nick Brignola, John McNeil, Phil Wilson, Ray Price, Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight, Joe Williams and Dian Diaz.