About Sidney James

How’d he get here?

So it seems, it’s all about change. About changing and about being changed.

A kid in Detroit plays in the school band. Then, kind of all at once, the kid discovers Stravinsky, Miles Davis, the Beatles, and Motown. The school band was OK, but this stuff, this was cool. He wants to be part of this. He wants to do all of that. Things were changing.

He changed.

Sidney James Composer and Producer for Film, TV, and Media

How’d he get here?

So it seems, it’s all about change. About changing and about being changed.

A kid in Detroit plays in the school band. Then, kind of all at once, the kid discovers Stravinsky, Miles Davis, the Beatles, and Motown. The school band was OK, but this stuff, this was cool. He wants to be part of this. He wants to do all of that. Things were changing.

He changed.

So, just a few short years later, he has played with the Detroit Symphony, toured Italy with the North Carolina Symphony, played recording sessions for Motown, Atlantic Records, Stax, been in orchestras for Tony Bennett, The Temptations, The Supremes, Ella Fitzgerald, Cher, The Four Tops, Tom Jones, Jack Jones, Quincy Jones, really, all of the Joneses.

This sounds pretty good but once again there was something better. Now the kid wanted to write the music and have others do the playing. This is how Sidney James started down frightening path of being a composer. Things were changing.

He changed Again.

So again, and just a few short years later, he received commissions from the National Endowment of the Arts, The Warren Symphony, Wayne State University, The Detroit Brass Quintet to compose modern classical music. He was invited to stage concerts of his music at Oakland University, The Detroit Arts Collective, The Detroit Repertory Theater, formed the ensemble ‘Visions’ to perform his classically infused r & b jazz compositions. The ensemble appeared on NPR broadcasts, in concerts with Stan Kenton, Don Ellis, Weather Report.

But this was still Detroit. Where to go from here? New York was commercials and theater. Los Angeles was records and movies. The next change is a change of venue. The facts were weighed and the decision was made very carefully. He didn’t want to live in an apartment. L.A. it was and, of course, he immediately moved into an apartment.

So once again, and of course, just a few short years later, it was movie studios, sound stages, recording studios, meetings at the Polo Lounge, wrap parties with Madonna, lunch at the commissary, screenings at the Academy. Talk about change.

Following trial by sunburn and earthquake, Mr. James worked for all the major film studios and television networks including Warner Bros., Universal, Disney, Paramount, Fox, NBC, ABC, HBO, Showtime. Composed score and songs and has music producer and music supervision credits. By the way, He did get out that apartment and into a house, up on a hill with a view.

Most recently, he has composed the score for the independent film ‘TXT’ for Fencesitter Films and the upcoming 2021 release ‘ A White Man Walks into a Barbershop‘, an original song included in the film ‘WINNIE MANDELA’ staring Jennifer Hudson and Terrance Howard.

Currently the theatrical production, ‘GOT IT ALL’, is being developed. He has written the story, lyrics and composed the music for this multi-media musical drama.

It does seem that it is all about change. Changing and about being changed.

And so once again, and in just a few short years…

Professional Associations

  • The Grammys / National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
  • The Society of Composers and Lyricists
  • The American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers
  • ASCAP / American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
  • The Song Writers Guild of America
  • The Dramatists Guild
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