In association with
Mr James Banner

Master of Music - Berlin University of the Arts/Jazz Institute Berlin (Distinction)
Bachelor of Music (1st Class Hons) - Birmingham Conservatoire
A Level Music and Music Technology
Grade 8 Electric Bass
Composition Scholarship from Berlin's UdK/Hanns Eisler for
Adopt a Composer 2018/2019 (in conjunction with Making Music, Sound and Music, PRS Foundation and BBC Radio 3)
Instruments: Double Bass
Electric Bass
Jazz Theory
Music Theory
Genre/Style(s): Classical
Improvised Music
Chamber Music
New Music
Contemporary Music
Ability Levels: Beginners to Advanced


Jazz and improvised music is my focus as a professional musician, however I believe that musical development is encouraged by listening to and playing a wide range of music. I have had experience in orchestral settings (symphony, chamber and string orchestras), having studied classical double bass with renowned bassist Thomas Martin, and lead my own ensembles, and work as a sideman in numerous ensembles in both the UK and EU.

I have performed in venues in the UK such as the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall, at Manchester and London Jazz Festivals, as well as regularly touring in venues across the UK and Europe. I have also performed on live radio broadcasts for the BBC, BR Klassik in Germany and Sveriges Radio in Sweden, and in venues around the world such as Konzerthaus Berlin and King Fahad Culture Centre in Saudi Arabia.

My own music has been supported by the Berlin State Department for Culture and Europe, Initiativ Musik (Germany), Hanns Eisler/University of the Arts (Berlin) and Making Music/Sound and Music/PRSF/BBC (UK).


Lecturer in Improvisation and Ensemble Performance - Leeds College of Music

I believe in a holistic approach to learning, developing important skills in improvisation, composition, sight reading etc. alongside the technique and abilities required to play the instrument. I use a growth mindset to encourage students to think outside of the box and develop their abilities in every class.

Workshop Leader and Assistant - Jazzlines (Town Hall/Symphony Hall Birmingham)
Leading and assisting in workshops and annual summer schools for varied group sizes of mixed ability, including both vocalists and instrumentalists.

Composition Workshop Leader/Composer In Residence - Make The Paint Dance
Whole class workshops for Key Stage 1 and 2 primary school students in music and composition, for majority non-instrumentalists. Exploring musicís relationship with art and exposing children in underprivileged and underfunded schools to professional level performances and the work of great artists and composers of the 20th Century.

Private one to one tuition in the UK and Berlin - jazz, theory, classical, improvisation, composition/arrangement. Coaching and advice on progression into higher/further education, options, university choices, conservatoire auditions etc. Music industry workshops.

Teaching approach:

As well as being my career, performing and writing music is my passion. I believe that being an active performer and composer who themselves is always in search of new ideas and still developing a voice is key to giving students the best advice to guide their own development.

Learning from my own experiences (and mistakes!) during performance and practise and being able to quickly establish the level of the student enables me to pass on only the most useful and beneficial knowledge, thus enabling them to develop their abilities quickly, no matter their musical interests, age or ability, and guiding them in the areas in which they wish to develop the most. Giving practical applications alongside theoretical or technical knowledge (e.g. sight reading, ear training) and incorporating improvisation and playing music together into every lesson means the lessons are both constructive, creatively fulfilling and fun. As well as this, I provide tuition for Grade and music theory exams as well as guidance on Conservatoire applications and auditions.

I also teach composition and find the best approach is if the student brings a piece, idea or concept that they are working on, as well as any questions they might have, which we can then work on together. This is a very rewarding way of learning composition as the student begins to develop an understanding of their own compositional voice and how to further their ideas, and thus how to develop this over time. If the student wishes, I also focus on other areas of composition in more general terms, such as: how to begin a piece/coming up with ideas, orchestration/arranging (especially for chamber ensembles, strings, and voices), developing themes, instrument specific knowledge, setting texts, incorporating improvisation into pieces, and much more.

Contact James

Address: Yorkshire (West)
Phone: 07493355934
Mobile: 07493355934
Fee (60 minutes): £30.00
Fee (45 minutes): £25.00

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