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The late Edwin Starr
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James RenfordBorn in Handsworth, Birmingham, James is an internationally acclaimed musician. When he was just eight he picked up the recorder and the mouth organ but his musical career really began at school when his teacher recognised his musical talent and stated in his school report that he should pursue that avenue.
At the age of sixteen he had bought himself a guitar, but he later decided it wasn't for him and then became a dancer, sound engineer and electrical technician in his brothers band. After completing a three-year course in mechanical engineering at his local college James left with a distinction. At the age of 21 James went on to pursue his musical career as a saxophonist with the aim of playing with his brother's band and continued with his musical studies under the guidance of Mr Jonathan Johnson a classical trumpet player, who took him through his grades, theory and practical through the Royal School of Music Association at Aston University.
James soon joined his first R&B band, The Biby James Band, as bandleader. In this band James was known for his demonstrative impulsive adaptability and unique artistic expression. Biby James' manager also produced the successful group Musical Youth which led to James joining their Caribbean tour as bandleader for the brass section.
In 1985 Steve Morrison, Pato Banton's trumpet player, asked James to form a brass section to support Edwin Starr - this was James' first gig with Edwin's Team.
James first love is the alto-sax but he also plays tenor and soprano sax, flute and a mean clarinet. Whether contemporary, R&B, reggae or Jazz, James is equally at home with all.
Understandably with such wealth of talent and experience James' is in constant demand as both session and touring musician and having also turned his skills to songwriting and arranging, a CD showcasing his unique abilities is in the pipeline. Background image taken by NASA'a Spitzer telescope Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech