THE DAILY BEAT
with James Williams
Invites you on musical journeys of self-discovery and professional development. This portfolio showcases the creativity, skills, and experience Williams continues to develop as he pursues his music career. Browse his latest projects and discover more about his upcoming performances.
Music has the power to transport us to another time and place. James Williams loves to harness that power with a broad audience of fellow music lovers and passionate musicians alike. Ever since a young age, Williams has found great joy and satisfaction by being involved in the creative music process. Take a look around the site to get to know more about James.
James Williams began his music career at the very young age of 6 years. It was in church, where his father was a local pastor in south Georgia. He tested other instruments but settled on drums as his main interest and when his family moved to Monterey, CA, he joined the jazz band at his local high school. His playing quickly developed and he went on to Berklee College of Music in Boston. Williams later studied and received his Master’s degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp in Belgium.
Williams has toured North America, Europe and Asia numerous times performing at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Fuji Rock Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz, Vienne Jazz Festival and the Tokyo Jazz Festival. He’s made a career performing music with artists spanning several genres. James has backed many GRAMMY award winners and nominees including Gary Burton, George Duke, Emily King, Christian Scott, Talib Kweli and others both onstage and in the recording studio. Williams has been cast in Off-Broadway theater in New York City and is also an original cast member to London’s West End production of Close to You: Bacharach Reimagined.
As is often said, the drummer in a band has the ability to make everyone else in the group sound their best. And, this is definitely true of James’ playing. He is inventive and fresh, but always holds the group together solidly.
Williams endorses Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Fat Congas and Swan Percussion.
Live at Rockwood Music Hall
Enjoy this video from a special performance in New York City with Emily King of her original song "Georgia." J.Most (guitar, sampler), Ethan Gouldbourne (keys), Mike LaValle (electric bass), James Williams (drums/percussion), Aviva Jaye (backing vocals), Marie Davey (backing vocals)