James Hall

New York Trombonist & Composer



James Hall is a trombonist and composer from Nebraska based in New York City. A versatile musician, his projects have spanned jazz, classical, latin, and popular music in the US and Europe.

As a composer and bandleader, James was named a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Competition, won three ASCAPlus Awards for composition, and was a featured performer/composer at the 2012 Chelsea Music Festival. As trombonist in Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, he has performed at B.B. Kings', S.O.B's, MassMOCA, The Kennedy Center, The Blue Note Jazz Festival, and has appeared in the pages of Rolling Stone Magazine. He has appeared on several recordings with Postmodern Jukebox, with whom he has toured Europe and the US. James' trombone playing earned third place, runner-up, and honorable mention in the Antti Rissanen, J.J. Johnson, and Carl Fontana International Jazz Trombone Competitions, respectively.

James' first CD as a composer/bandleader was released in October 2013. Entitled "Soon We Will Not Be Here" by James Hall Thousand Rooms Quartet, the body of work sets contemporary poems by NYC-based poets to 3rd-stream chamber music. His sophomore release, "Lattice," is currently in post-production.

James holds degrees from the Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Wisconsin and Aaron Copland School of Music in New York. His teachers have included Luis Bonilla, Hal Crook, Michael Dease, Nick Keelan, Ed Neumeister, and Fred Sturm.



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"charming stage presence...original and personal interpretations...abundance and freshness of tone"

-Reijo Paavola, Kymen Sanomat

"James Hall, as a musician, possesses that rarely-occurring combination of inherent classical talent and lust-for-life exuberance. He and his well-selected musical collaborators are a pleasure to watch (and a delight to hear). James can transform an overcooked pop song into a jazzical masterpiece, or simmer a traditional standard into a musical memory."

-Ashley Fogerty, Spin Earth

"James Hall and Robert Siegel are a perfect match in The Serpent Speaks, a beautiful symphonic composition in sound and word. The music by Hall is a modern jazz alliance with Siegel's dramatic poem about the fallen world. Using two percussionists, a saxophone, a guitar, a bass, and Hall's own lyrical trombone, the music intertwines with two voices, female and male, to make for a powerful statement about human misery and hope. Word and sound blend together in an artistic marriage that is greater than the sum of the parts. There is rhythm; there is meditation; there is drama; and there is love."

-William Edgar, Jazz Pianist
Author, Taking Note of Music

"...at times I felt I was listening to the music of the spheres...the whole struck me as symphonic."

-Robert Siegel, Poet
The Serpent Speaks

"James Hall and his band has an eclectic, but inviting, voice. Their music is accessible, but weaves in and out of some of the highest realms of Jazz and Classical tradition. In short, their music teaches us toward love of something deeper and richer."

-Makoto Fujimura, Founder
International Arts Movement