James has had a passion for singing and playing guitar that spans decades. It was in Connecticut that James met Sal Salvador, (a former jazz great), who introduced him to jazz guitar. Sal ultimately challenged James that he belonged in the world of music, and that one day he would be compelled to embrace it completely. For the better part of his adult life, he considered those words to be wishful thinking and his music remained on the sidelines. Instead he took a 20-year detour building and leading large companies. Along the way he wrote pop songs about his life experiences that are part of his repertoire today. He also continued his focus on jazz songs creating his own fresh and eclectic arrangements of standards from the Great American Songbook.
On stage, James Hammel is at once completely natural and artfully focused, a rare combination. He gets to the core of each song with easy grace and understated eloquence. Roy Sander, Critic and Columnist (formerly of Back Stage and Citysearch).
James Hammel really connects on his new release Do It All Over Again! Nice choice of jazz standards, pop standards, and his originals...all featuring his masterful, yet effortless sounding, guitar work. It's smooth but with plenty of meat on it's bones. We love it at KUMD!! John Ziegler, KUMD, Duluth, MN
“This is a terrific CD
New York, NY
Willing to teach
I have been teaching for a long time and continue to do so on a part time basis. Primary focus is on chord structure, scales, arpeggios, and technique.