James Mahone is an active performer and instructor. He began his musical journey almost 30 years ago in Monterey, California, soaking in the influence of its rich music scene. He went on to California State University Northridge to study classical and jazz saxophone under Bill Caulkins, and participated in the university’s award-winning wind ensembles and jazz big bands.
Upon leaving CSUN, James became a fixture on the Los Angeles music scene and was a member of the acclaimed jazz quintet Black Note, who recorded albums for the Columbia and GRP/ Impulse record labels. As a member of the group, James spent several years performing up and down the West coast, eventually moving on to national and international destinations. He has performed in many major jazz festivals (Montreal, North Sea, Pori, Umbria, etc.) and worked with many of today’s top- tier musicians.
James continued his musical studies in New York City at The New School For Social Research, studying saxophone and composition under Garry Dial, Billy Harper, Benny Powell and Charles Tolliver. During his time there, he was able to perform with numerous musicians (Tomas Fujiwara, Taylor Ho- Bynum, Jaz Sawyer, Sasha Dobson, Brian Settles, Matt Otto, Danton Boller, Andy Bemkey, Jeff Carlstedt, Neil Podgursky, Chad Taylor, Arnie Lawrence, etc.) and began teaching saxophone, clarinet and flute students privately
Continuing his professional career in Tokyo, Japan allowed James more opportunities to hone his skills as a performer and recording artist (Jonathan Katz, Michael Wolff, Jon B. Williams, Angela Stribling, Greg McKenzie, Andrea Hopkins, Harvey Thompson, Raymond McMorrin, Mark Tourian, Brent Nussey, Kankawa, Maria Eva, Teddy Kinjo, Kazumi Ikenaga, Cecil Monroe, etc.). In addition to being a sought after musician throughout Japan, he took on more private students and worked as a saxophone instructor at St. Maur International School, interacting with young, aspiring musicians from all corners of the world.
Upon finishing his sojourn in Japan, James relocated to the California Bay Area where he currently performs with many talented musicians (Marcus Shelby, Faye Carol, Mitch Butler, Mike Olmos, Erik Jekabson, Tiffany Austin, Akira Tana, Dana Salzman, Glen Pearson, Josh Milgrom, Hamir Atwal, Tim Angulo, Leon Joyce, etc.).