James Emery (musician)

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James Emery
Born (1951-12-21)December 21, 1951
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
Genres Jazz, avant-garde, classical
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1975–present
Labels Enja, Between the Lines
Associated acts String Trio of New York, Anthony Braxton
Website www.james-emery.com.com

James Emery (born December 21, 1951, Youngstown, Ohio) is an American jazz guitarist.

Emery started playing guitar when he was twelve. In high school he taught at a music store run by Bill DeArango, and during free moments he accompanied DeArango on guitar. He went to college at Cleveland State University and performed in local bars and clubs. In 1974, he moved to New York City and the following year recorded with Leroy Jenkins. He also worked with Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Threadgill, and the Human Arts Ensemble with Lester Bowie and George Lewis.[1]

In 1977, Emergy began the String Trio of New York with Billy Bang and John Lindberg[2] and has been a member for over thirty years, recording more than fifteen albums, and touring throughout the U.S. and the world. He has written over hundred compositions for the avant-garde Trio and for symphony orchestras, chamber groups, and solo guitar. In 1995, he received a Guggenheim fellowship for composition. During his career, Emery has led his own groups and has worked with Ed Blackwell, Dave Holland, Joe Lovano, Steve Reich, Sam Rivers, and John Zorn.[1]


As leader[edit]

  • Artlife (Lumina, 1983)
  • Exo Eso (FMP, 1987)
  • Turbulence (Knitting Factory, 1991)
  • Standing on a Whale Fishing for Minnows (Enja, 1997)
  • Spectral Domains (Enja, 1999)
  • Luminous Cycles (Between the Lines, 2001)
  • Fourth World (Between the Lines, 2001)
  • Transformations (Between the Lines, 2003)

With the String Trio of New York

As sideman[edit]

With Anthony Braxton


  1. ^ a b Yanow, Scott (2013). The great jazz guitarists : the ultimate guide. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6. 
  2. ^ Wynn, Ron. "James Emery". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 March 2017.