James Freeman has been performing and composing in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. From the San Francisco Symphony to New York’s CBGB’s, James has traversed the musical landscape. After studying classical guitar with George Sakellariou at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he performed classical guitar concerts. He studied classical composition with Janice Giteck, composing two ballet pieces, What? and Persephone, which were the beginning of his exploration of math formulas to create a unique harmonic landscape. His minimalist composition, Mystic Mountain, was presented by the San Francisco Symphony at their Wet Ink Festival. His interest in jazz led him to Jim Grantham and Calvin Keys. He pursued studies at The California Jazz Conservatory, leading to steady solo jazz guitar performances.
Keeping busy, he formed his original heavy metal trio, XYZ, the pop band, The Golden Gate Jumpers, and avant-garde jazz ensemble, The 700 Club, recommended in Billboard, and described in SPIN Magazine as “dada-driven semi-truck hauling a heavy load of anarchistic jazz-punk-funk.” He performed locally and toured with the bands. After a stint of cabaret singing and stand up comedy, Freeman has returned his focus to musical composition in a new light, combining jazz and classical, seeking a spiritual vision.
- 1964 – Majored in theater at Stanford University, where he acted in and directed numerous plays.
- 1966 – Began his musical studies, graduating from blues bands to classical and jazz.
- 1970 – Studied classical guitar with George Sakellariou and composition with Janice Giteck at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
- 1979 – His heavy metal power trio, XYZ, was signed to Warner Brothers.
- 1981 – Formed a popular local power pop band, the Golden Gate Jumpers.
- 1984 – Formed the 700 CLUB, an eight piece group with saxophones, synths, female backup singers, which played at local clubs and toured the East Coast.
- 1985 – Composed music for two ballet pieces entitled, “WHAT” and “PERSEPHONE”.
- 1989 – Played classical guitar at LA BRASSERIE French restaurant in Oakland for fine dining.
1990’s – 2000
- 1993 – 2000 – Participated in musicals, stand up comedy, and worked for an agency, PARTY FAVORS.
2000’s – Present
- 2011 – Began his current occupation of jazz guitar at various venues, including the CREEKSIDE GRILL, SCOTT’S SEAFOOD, etc.
- 2014 – Hosted HOSPICE OF THE EAST BAY ART & WINE FESTIVAL
- 2015 – Played the ORINDA JAZZ FESTIVAL July 18
- 2015 – Playing at HOSPICE OF THE EAST BAY ART & WINE FESTIVAL on Oct. 5