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James Shannon was born in a small Texas town where he began music lessons
at the age of 11. He helped pay for his first guitar with a paper route.
His Mother was an accomplished pianist and artist. Both his Mother and
Father loved music and were friends with a sax player who worked with
the great Trombonist Jack Teagarden. It was this friend who said, "Keep
up the music as no one can ever take that away from you!" James Mother
would take a bus to Dallas to see the Jazz greats of the time. He began
leading his own band in high school. James later attended the University
of North Texas, and was a member of the renowned 1:00 Lab Band under Leon
Breeden. His work in Jazz clubs paid his way through college and was a
major factor in his musical development. Finding himself in such a fertile
musical environment he was forced to learn fast and was largely self taught
by experience and surroundings. Working with the Flo Green Trio and Bob
Stewart and CO. were an important element of artistic growth.
While working with the Organ B3 group headed by Flo Green, and later, drummer Bob Stewart and leading his own group in the Ft Worth /Dallas area James performed with the following notable players: Red Garland and Ray Charles allumni Hank Crawford, David "Fathead" Newman, and James Clay. During the same years James also performed with Lou Donaldson, Julius Hemphill, Marchel Ivory, Mack Goldsbury, Organist Flo Green, Bob Stewart and Co, Organist Clyde George..
James has also performed with Organist Jimmy Smith, Billy Hart, Ed Soph, Lynn Seaton, Lee Konitz, Bassist Ed Schuller (son of Gunther Schuller) and The Les Elgart Orchestra among others. Billy Hart, Mack Goldsbury and Ed Schuller can be heard on his first record release.
More bio below:
Shannon has given concerts and clinics at the University of North Texas, Weatherford College, El Centro College, Brookhaven College, San Angelo Jazz Festival, Oklahoma Charlie Christian Jazz Festival as well as other colleges and schools. His quartet with saxophonist James Clay was selected to perform on the opening concert of Sammons Jazz in 1989 which became the premier Jazz concert venue in the southwest. Several of James former students are now noted professionals including internationally known Jazz Guitarist, Bruce Foreman. During his formative years, he studied with classical guitar master Regino Sanz De La Maza in Madrid and at Southern Methodist University. He also performed in master classes held by Pepe Romero and Jose Tomas.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
CHECK OUT THE PICS/RECORDING CLIP AND CLUB FLAMINGO BELOW:__
The Flo Green Trio
Clay and Shannon at a live club date; click link below.
Fort Worth and southwest history: History: The Club Flamingo:
Guitarist James Shannon recording,
12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, March 3, 2010
He's also resumed his recording career, releasing Out of the Blue last
year, nine years after his last disc, 2000's Silent Voices.
"It takes a lot of time to get yourself out on the Internet, book
gigs and all that. ... So now I'm honing up things that I wasn't able
to do while I was teaching. I'm at a point right now where I want to
do a lot more recording. I already have about half of another CD ready."
Shannon, who discovered his passion for guitar playing at 11, began
his musicianship with steel guitar lessons while growing up in Weatherford
Texas.Those steel guitar tutorials led to him teaching himself how to
play electric and acoustic guitar. Then Jazz found him.
"There was this family in Weatherford, a family of musicians,"
he says. "Their father had a furniture shop. They had a band, and
they rehearsed there. I started hanging and playing some and they asked
me to go out on some of their gigs. It was a Jazz/rhythm and blues band.
Then I walked into the shop one day, and they were playing Jimmy Smith
with Kenny Burrell. I said, 'That's it. That's what I want to do."
Shannon's first Jazz Album was released to great reviews and solid air play. His CD recordings, Silent Voices and Out of the Blue, received reviews in the internationaly acclaimed Cadence Magazine. A quote from one review stated: "Intense and melodic. Bright and freewheeling and full of the bluesy accents that can't help but bring a smile to your face. A fun bent note swagger in his playing. This is very good jazz guitar"
James currently leads his own Jazz group and is active in recording
and composition. He was Professor of music at at El Centro College in
Dallas Texas for many years and subsequently at Brookhaven College School
of the Arts in Dallas, from 2000-2009. While at both Colleges, he taught
Jazz and Classical guitar plus Jazz Improvisation. James has won several
awards for teaching including the Nisod Excellence in teaching award
from the University of Texas at Austin and excellence in teaching awards
from the Dallas County Community College District.
In the soulful Detroit archives Floralyn Green
He was part of the Grammy-nominated One O'Clock Lab Band at the University
of North Texas in 1969 under musical director Leon Breeden. He recalls
his time with the renowned band as "a great training ground, no
doubt about it." But today Shannon prefers a quieter, sparer musical
Out of the Blue, featuring bassist Lynn Seaton and drummer Andrew Griffith, is a stripped-down affair. The disc was recorded live without much rehearsal. Shannon prefers that kind of creative environment.
"Recording live is the format I chose. I really was not after
an overproduced sound but more of a spontaneous live approach.
For bookings or further information contact Jim Shannon: email@example.com