James Davis began playing the trumpet at age 11. He showed great interest in music throughout his early years of development, eventually participating in the Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble his last two years of high school. James continued his musical endeavors at the University of Texas at Arlington, pursuing a Batchelor of Music Degree and experiencing a wealth of diverse performance opportunities. He continued his education at the University of North Texas receiving a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance. At UNT, James had the opportunity to tour and record with some of the nation’s finest young musicians in the Grammy nominated One O’clock Lab Band and the UNT Wind Symphony. Among other recognitions throughout his college career, in the summer of 2004 James was a finalist in the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Competition held in Denver, Colorado and a finalist in the 2007 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition held in Tucson, Arizona.
In 2004 James moved to Chicago, and has continued his musical growth as an active performer, composer and educator in the Chicago area. In addition to leading his own quintet and co-leading Zing!, James also performs regularly with the Tomorrow Music Orchestra, the Stone-Bratt Big Band, the Jason Steele Ensemble, and the Ian Torrez Big Band. He is currently on faculty at Triton College in River Grove, IL, and on staff at local high schools in the Chicago-land area as a private instructor. In 2005 James was a touring member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, in which he was frequently featured as a soloist. James’ diverse performance experience includes performances with the Chuchito Valdes Latin Jazz Quintet, Rob Parton’s Jazztech Big Band, Alan Gresik’s Swing Shift Orchestra, the Naperville Chorus, the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, the Texas Wind Symphony, and other jazz, classical and Latin music groups.