One of Canada’s top guitarists, James Bryan is a Grammy and Juno winning performer, songwriter and producer. A member of popular Canadian acts Philosopher Kings and Prozzak, James is also an accomplished jazz player. His solo fingerstyle playing, inspired by Tommy Emmanuel and Tuck Andress, truly sets him apart. Mixing jazz, soul, flamenco and bossa nova, at the heart of it all is the passionate and uplifting sound of James’ guitar. Working with artists from across the globe including Shawn Mendes, Luis Fonsi, Nelly Furtado, and Yuna, James has played on over 200 recordings, achieved platinum success, and performed on stages from Wembley Stadium to Madison Square Gardens and Massey Hall.
James started playing guitar at age 9 and by 12, he began teaching. While studying classical and jazz guitar at the University of Toronto under Eli Kassner and Lorne Lofsky, James and some friends formed the Philosopher Kings, signing his first record deal with Sony at the age of 18.Platinum albums, a Juno award for best new group and tours across North America, Japan and Brazil soon followed. His next project, the animated band, Prozzak, became a pop culture phenomenon in Canada, with multi-platinum sales and a string of hits including “Sucks to be You”, further proving James’ skills as a musician, songwriter and producer. His ability to create hit songs along with James’ instantly recognizable guitar style, began attracting other acts including Fefe Dobson and Nelly Furtado.After playing on her Grammy-winning debut Whoa Nelly and followup Folklore, James travelled the world with Nelly on the Loose Tour, including the Princess Diana Memorial Concert at Wembley Stadium in 2007. “The biggest gig of my career!”, James shared the stage with Sir Elton John, Pharrell, Rod Stewart, Kanye West and more. Then, James co-wrote and produced songs for Nelly’s Latin Grammy-winning album Mi Plan, including international hit “Manos Al Aire”.
In 2009, James moved from Toronto to London, UK, to work out of Kensaltown Studios, “West London’s version of the Brill Building”, alongside fellow writer/producers Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz), Paul Herman (Dido, Emele Sande) and Sacha Skarbek(Miley Cyrus). “Being in such a creative environment gave me a whole new perspective and really stepped up my game on an international level. ”There, James worked with Jessie J, James Morrison, James Blunt, Yuna, Olly Murs, Lisa Marie Presley and more.
Moving back to Toronto in 2014, James continued to work with artists across the globe. He performed and wrote on Latin superstar Luis Fonsi’s #1 album, 8, and produced and co-wrote “Palm Trees” for fellow Canadian Lowell, which appeared on popular video game Fifa 15. In 2015 he contributed to young Canadian star, Shawn Mendes’ US #1 debut album” Handwritten” with his soulful guitar on “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” and Brazilian singer/songwriter Maria Gadu’s album “Guela”. In 2016, James wrote and played on Columbia UK artist and Game of Thrones actor, Raleigh Ritchie’s debut album, produced and wrote on Warner Germany artist Femme Schmidt’s album Raw, and a single from Ultra artist London Future. The biggest collaboration of the year was with Dutch EDM star Martin Garrix, on the single “Sun is Never Going Down”, which got millions of Youtube views and play in clubs across the globe. 2017 started with a Juno nomination for Barbra Lica’s album “I’m Still Learning”, which James produced, wrote and played on.
But the biggest news is the reunion of both Prozzak and Philosopher Kings this year, with new album Forever 1999 and an accompanying sold-out Canadian tour with Prozzak in the spring. Meanwhile, the band that started his career is finishing their new album, Return of the Kings, due for release in 2018.
For more information please visit www.jamesbryanmusic.com
DATE: Friday, April 30, 2021
TIME: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EST
EVENT: TD Niagara Jazz Festival Presents: International Jazz Day – Celebrating the Jazz Greats
VENUE: This event is livestreamed
Click here for event details
Previous Season Shows
DATE: Monday, March 30, 2020
TIME: 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
EVENT: ‘In Your Own Backyard’ Guitar Series
VENUE: In YOUR own backyard (This event will be Live-streamed)
Click here for event details
DATE: Sunday, June 2nd, 2019
TIME: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
EVENT: Twilight Jazz Series: Guitar Magic
VENUE: Mahtay Cafe and Lounge
ADDRESS: 241 St. Paul St, St. Catharines
TICKET PRICE: $12 in advance / $15 at the door / $8 for Musicians and Arts Workers / $5 for students
*All tickets are subject to 13% HST and handling fees
DATE: Friday, July 20th, 2018
EVENT: TWILIGHT JAZZ in the CLUBS
STAGE: The Warehouse
ADDRESS: 11 Geneva St, St. Catharines, ON
TIME: 9:00pm – 12:00am
TICKET PRICE: $29 + HST ($15 + HST for students)
PASSES: $75 + HST ($50 + HST for musicians)