photo by Isabelle Selby
James Moore is a versatile guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been active in New York since 2006, earning 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 array of guitars, banjos, mandolins and home-made instruments, James incorporates his classical training and a healthy dose of improvisation, theatrics, and experimentation.
You may have found James in a variety of performance situations: at the Huddersfield contemporary music festival performing John Zorn's Book of Heads for solo guitar; at the Pompidou Center in Paris as an on-stage musician and actor for playwright Richard Maxwell's Neutral Hero; At the Kennedy Center in Washington DC performing for David Lang and Susan Marshall's dance piece Play/Pause; at the Brooklyn Academy of Music playing the music of George Crumb on mandolin and singing saw with soprano Dawn Upshaw; at the Barbican Center in London playing the music of Steve Reich with Dither; at the Whitney Museum interpreting graffiti compositions by Christian Marclay with Elliott Sharp; at Lincoln Center Out of Doors performing with Lee Ranaldo and Yo La Tengo.
James is a founding member and director of Dither, an electric guitar quartet that has gained international recognition for precision playing and creative programming. Other projects include The Hands Free, an acoustic quartet; Forever House, a rock band; Florent Ghys's low string quintet Bonjour; Corey Dargel's song project Hold Yourself Together; and a duo with violinist Andie Tanning Springer. James's first solo recording, Zorn's Book of Heads, was released on Tzadik in 2015. He can also be heard on releases from Touch, Cantaloupe, Bridge, New World, Henceforth, Innova, New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records.
James received his Master of Music in guitar performance from the Yale School of Music and his Bachelor of Arts in guitar performance and electronic music from The University of California, Santa Cruz. He has served on the faculty of Princeton University's Atelier program, and he has been a guest artist at universities across the country. His essay on the manuscripts of John Cage, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison and Virgil Thomson's collaboratively written Sonorous or Exquisite Corpses was recently published in Arcana: Musicians on Music.