James Porter writes, plays and sings jazz songs: vehicles for jazz music-making, rather than self-standing songs with a set arrangement. A song is about meaning while jazz is about music-making (and rock about attitude). James Porter writes songs that are meant to be improvised on from the start, so that he hardly ever sings them as he wrote them, and his writing process focuses on the pleasure a musician would derive from improvising on them. He started learning the guitar when his sister dated a prog-rock guitarist back in the late seventies, playing by ear as much as from charts, writing down the music the piano or the guitar dictated. He quickly learned to appreciate jazz through the usual suspects — Sinatra helped him make the transition. Django, Chet Baker and many more became inspirations. For many years he sang standards with his trio Jazz-Song and all but gave up on the guitar, as he found it so much easier to express himself through his voice. He's been back on the guitar since the turn of the century, with a focus on jazz and samba. Personal and academic research led to a PhD dissertation and then a 400-page book in French on the musicians, socioeconomics, repertoire and aesthetics of New-York Cabaret, under his original French name Jacques Protat. After The James Porter Songbook and many local projects, James is working on duet projects with French singer Marilyne Rollet.