With so many changes in the Music Industry, truth remains that Dean James has become one of the most versatile saxophonists of the genre we call Smooth Jazz. Having released 4 Cd's as a solo artist, James is currently embarking on a new project. As James continues to demonstrate his soulful performances on both alto & soprano saxophones, his 5th solo project "GROOVYSAX", introduces a very unique blend of Smooth Jazz, R&B, Latin and Popular music that sets apart his own signature style and sound.
Currently residing in Houston, TX, James was originally born & raised in San Francisco, having picked up the alto sax at the age of 15. Inspired by a long list of Traditional & Contemporary jazz artists, James became particularly motivated to master the horn and pursue his musical career.
Furthering his musical education, James attended the Berklee College of Music where he studied both Jazz and Classical Music. After returning to the Bay Area, James became a sideman on the Gospel circuit for the late Daniebelle Hall, also performing with other artists such as Daryl Coley, and Rickey Grundy. After moving to Los Angeles in 1985, James’ popularity grew and was in demand as a session player. James soon became a sideman for R&B artists such as Vesta, Cherelle, Miki Howard & Gary Taylor. James was then signed to Ichiban/Brajo records as a solo artist in 1995. James’ notoriety as a band leader allowed him to share the stage with Norman Connors, Jean Carne, Peter White, Bobby Lyle, Joe Sample, and Bob Baldwin along with many others.
After the release of "Can We Talk" (1995) and "Intimacy" (1997), James became a regular on the Los Angeles music circuit, performing at jazz clubs such as the Baked Potato. James’ festival resume includes the Glenn Ellen Newport Beach Jazz Festival, KSBR Jazz Festival, San Diego Jazz Festival, San Antonio Jazz & Art Festival, UCLA Jazz Festival, Taste of L.A. & the Rising Star concerts in San Diego. James also toured with the UniverSoul Circus orchestra from 2000-2002. Television appearances include the Stephanie Miller Show, BET's Jazz Central, Good Morning Atlanta, Talk of the Town (Nashville), The 2000 Stellar Music Awards as a sideman for Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and Lee Williams & the Gospel QC's, the Japanese syndicated program hosted by Keiko Matsui featured with Smooth Jazz guitarist Peter White, James has made several appearances on the Houston based television show Great Day Houston as well as numerous appearances at Jazz Festival across Texas.
Discography includes the L.A. Jazz Syndicate volumes 1 & 2, various Gospel recordings and various Bob Baldwin recordings. "GROOVYSAX" is James’ upcoming fifth solo release introducing another level of original compositions, combined with all of the elements that make up a diverse and exciting listening experience.