THURSDAY, July 31st at 6pm
James Whiton began his career at 3 years old, playing a half-size ‘cello under the tutelage of his mother, who was principal double bass with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. When he was six, he went on the road as a child prodigy, playing ‘cello concertos throughout the Southwest United States.
Over the past 35 years, he has performed both as a soloist and as a member of symphonies, rock bands, jazz combos and big bands. He has been featured on over 100 recordings, including a dozen self-produced releases. He has traveled throughout the US and Europe, playing in an incredible variety of venues in front of audiences ranging in size from 1 to 10,000 (ah, the life of a working musician!). The dedication of playing upwards of 300 nights a year for 25 years has resulted in a deep understanding of the subtle nuances of music and an absolute mastery of his instrument which is sharply evident the instant his finger touches a string.
In 2010, Tom Waits recruited James to play bass on his 2011 release Bad As Me, alongside superstar artists such as Keith Richards, Charlie Musselwhite, Augie Meyers (Little Richard, Bob Dylan), Marc Ribot, Dave Hidalgo (Los Lobos, Bob Dylan), Flea and Les Claypool. James is one of seven bass players on the recording, but Waits chose to use James’ bass tracks on 7 of the 16 songs. Bad As Me was an astounding success; named as the best reviewed album of 2011, it outsold every other recording in Waits’ catalog and was nominated for a Grammy.
Throughout his career, James has been fortunate to play with many of his heroes, including Tom Waits, George Clinton (P-Funk All Stars), The Rev. Horton Heat, Les Claypool, Vernon Reid (Living Color), Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), Nels Cline, Eric Burdon (The Animals), Bernie Worrell (P-Funk, Talking Heads), Thomas Dolby, Lady Kier (Dee-Lite), Fred Wesley (James Brown), Angelo Moore & Norwood Fisher (Fishbone).
Currently, James lives in Albuquerque, NM and is touring the country as a solo artist.