Guitar, Banjo, Composer
Saturday, February 26, 2022
4:00 pm EST
WPAC Concert Hall
$15 general, $10 senior/FIU faculty, staff, & alumni, $5 student
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2022 MIGF Festival Pass
is available to attend all festival events at a single reduced price: $100 general, $70 senior/FIU faculty, staff, & alumni, $30 student
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James Moore is a composer, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and bandleader whose multifaceted career has earned him the titles of “local electric guitar hero” by Time Out New York and “model new music citizen” by the New York Times. Performing on a wide variety of guitars, banjos, mandolins, and home-made instruments, James’s music draws on an eclectic array of influences from folk, jazz, contemporary classical music, and experimental theater.

James is a founding member and director of the electric guitar quartet Dither (with Taylor Levine, Joshua Lopes, and Gyan Riley) and leads the whimsical acoustic quartet The Hands Free (with Caroline Shaw, Nathan Koci, and Eleonore Oppenheim). He can also be found performing with the avant-grunge/sloppy-math rock band Forever House (with Meaghan Burke, James Ilgenfritz, and Peter Wise) and in a theatrical experimental duo with violinist Andie Tanning.

As a chamber an orchestral performer, James’s credits include appearances with Dawn Upshaw & Gilbert Kalish, Alarm Will Sound, Bang on a Can, Roomful of Teeth, So Percussion, The Crossing Choir, The LA Phil New Music Group, and Santa Fe Opera. Composers he has worked with include John Adams, Robert Ashley, Eve Beglarian, David Lang, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich, and John Zorn. As a sideman, he has performed alongside vocalists Toshi Reagon & Rhiannon Giddens, guitarists Mary Halvorson and Marc Ribot, as well as members of rock bands Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Clogs, and The National.

In his compositions, James enjoys bringing together unique combinations of artists and developing works through collaboration and improvisation. Recent projects include Send Back My Love for himself performing on electric resonator guitar with mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran; Desolation Pops, a concerto for pianist Kathleen Supové with The Rhythm Method String Quartet; and The Untroubled Mind: a song cycle for vocalist/fiddler Anna Roberts-Gevalt, cellist Theresa Wong, and Ellen Fullman performing on her 50+ foot justly-tuned “long string instrument.” James’s concert music also includes pieces for the violin duo String Noise, triple-harpist Claire Happel, vocal group Variant 6, chamber orchestra Contemporaneous, and classical guitarist Rene Izquierdo.

James’s debut solo recording, a new interpretation of John Zorn’s notorious guitar etudes The Book of Heads, was released on Tzadik in 2015, accompanied with a performance documentary by director Stephen Taylor. James has also recorded several of Zorn’s game pieces on Dither plays Zorn, which was dubbed a “top avant album” of the year by Rolling Stone. Other recording highlights include Ted Hearne’s Sound From the Bench, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in music, and Mason Bates’s GRAMMY-winning opera recording The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, for which James is a steel-string guitar soloist.

James works frequently as a collaborator in theater, dance, and multimedia projects, and has performed extensively with New York City Players. As an onstage musician, singer, actor and music arranger, he has taken part in the international tours of NYCP’s Neutral Hero and The Evening. Other notable staged projects include composer David Lang and choreographer Susan Marshall’s electrified dance piece PLAY/PAUSE; Object Collection’s It’s All True, a maximalist opera constructed from the live archives of Fugazi; and Bryce Dessner’s Triptych, a meditation on the works of Robert Mapplethorpe.

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, James received his BA in music from The University of California, Santa Cruz, his MM in classical guitar performance from Yale University, and is currently pursuing his PhD in music composition at Princeton University. He has served on the faculty of Princeton’s Atelier program, and has been a guest lecturer at universities across the country and abroad. His writings include articles for NewMusicBox and Arcana: Musicians on Music.