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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 as having “seemingly effortless command of the piano”, and by author Grady Harp for creating music that “makes the world more beautiful.”
Although he began his musical journey with classical piano lessons at the age of five, James fell in love with jazz when he learned about the genre while in middle school. Discovering a natural ability along with a strong desire to master his craft, the young musician soon gained national recognition for his music. Among his many accolades include awards from Downbeat Magazine and the National Young Arts Foundation. He was also selected for the prestigious Jazz Band of America and the Berklee Summer Jazz Workshop. James went on to attend the Berklee College of Music on scholarship, where he graduated summa cum laude after only three years of study.
James has toured and performed at venues across the United States of America and Canada, working with notable artists and ensembles Chris Cheek, The Mark Zaleski Band, The Either/Orchestra, and many others. In 2017, he attended the historic Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music. It was at this workshop that he met Toronto-based vocalist and composer Mingjia Chen, with whom he recorded and released his debut album Extended Layover. James released his first album as a solo artist, The Lonely Sailor, in 2019 to widespread critical acclaim.
Along with performing and composing, James is a passionate teacher. He strives to challenge all of his students by using their favorite music as a medium for education.
In the Press
02/13/2019 Article on The Lonely Sailor album release (Needham Hometown Weekly)
02/10/2019 Article on The Lonely Sailor (Textura)
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)