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James Fernando is a pianist and composer whose music lies at the intersection of jazz, classical, and electronic music. He relies on his genre-expanding original compositions to deliver thought provoking and exciting performances. The Berklee College of Music graduate released his debut album Extended Layover in 2018 as a collaboration with Mingjia Chen and released his first album as a solo artist, The Lonely Sailor, in 2019.
Pianist and composer James Fernando has been hailed by Jazz Sensibilities as “limitless in his ability to articulate his ideas,” by Textura magazine as having “seemingly effortless command of the piano,” and by author Grady Harp for creating music that “makes the world more beautiful.”
Among James’ many performance and compositional accolades are awards from Downbeat Magazine, the National Young Arts Foundation, and first prize at the 9th West Virginia International Piano Competition. He was also selected for the prestigious Jazz Band of America and the Berklee Summer Jazz Workshop. James studied at Berklee College of Music on scholarship, where he graduated summa cum laude after only three years. In 2017, he participated in the historic Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music.
James has performed at venues and festivals across the USA and Canada as a solo artist and as a sideman. A few of the notable artists and ensembles he has worked with are Chris Cheek, The Mark Zaleski Band, and The Either/Orchestra. In 2018, James collaborated with Toronto-based vocalist and composer Mingjia to release his debut album, Extended Layover. In 2019, James released his first album as a solo artist, The Lonely Sailor, to widespread critical acclaim.
In addition to being a highly sought after pianist and composer, James is a talented educator and has worked with students across the USA. He is currently on Jazz Piano faculty at Levine Music in Washington, D.C.
In the Press
07/30/2019 Needham native James Fernando Announces 10-stop tour (Needham Times)
07/09/2019 The Lonely Sailor album review (Chalked Up Reviews)
02/22/2019 Blogpost review of The Lonely Sailor (The Vinyl Anachronist)
02/20/2019 “Rant ‘n’ Roll” segment on The Lonely Sailor (The Aquarian Weekly)
02/18/2019 The Lonely Sailor album review (Jazz Weekly)
02/18/2019 Interview on The Lonely Sailor album release (Needham Times)
02/13/2019 Article on The Lonely Sailor album release (Needham Hometown Weekly)
02/10/2019 Article on The Lonely Sailor (Textura Magazine)
02/09/2019 Blogpost reviewing The Lonely Sailor (Michael Doherty)
02/08/2019 Review of The Lonely Sailor (Midwest Records)
02/04/2019 Review of The Lonely Sailor (Jazz Sensibilities)
01/04/2019 The Lonely Sailor Dutch Press Release (Rootsville)
01/02/2019 Susan Frances’ review of The Lonely Sailor (jazz2love)
06/21/2018 Press Pass: James Fernando (Falls Church News Press)