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Mr James Pearson

College position(s)

Musician in Residence



James Pearson is a pianist, composer and creative tour de force.

James is the Artistic Director at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club where his trio are the house band. Their album ‘Swing the Club’ recorded live at the venue received excellent reviews across the board. The recording was ranked at No.6 in the Sunday Times albums of 2009 and they sold out four nights at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in New York.

As one of the country's most respected musicians, James' work covers all genres of music, especially contempory music, jazz, and classical. He graduated from the Guildhall School, having completed his degree and the Advanced Solo Studies Course. At college, he studied with Robert Saxton, Francis Shaw, Peter Bithell, and James Gibb. He regularly performed with the symphony orchestra, including a concert at the Barbican with Takemitzu.

James is equally at home as a concert pianist. He has broadcast on all the major radio and television networks, and played concertos with the Philharmonia and the BBC Concert Orchestra, amongst many others. His performance of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano Concerto was broadcast on Classic FM and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto and Rhapsody in Blue on BBC Radio 2. 

Commissions by the BFI and BBC have seen James back in the composing chair. The Big Smoke, commissioned by the BFI is a collection of footage of London accompanied by an 80-minute score composed by James. His work can also be heard performed by Brodsky String Quartet, Sir John Dankworth, The BBC Concert Orchestra, and The BBC Big Band.

James' work as a Jazz musician has taken him all over the world. Amongst the many people James has worked with are, Dame Cleo Laine, Maria Ewing, Marian Montgomery, Petula Clark, The John Wilson Orchestra, Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, Buddy Greco, Johnny Griffin, Joseph Horowitz, Richard Rodney Bennett, Ray Davies, Polly Gibbons, Nigel Kennedy, Robbie Williams, Rufus Wainwright, Gregory Porter, Imelda May, Jeff Beck and Paul McCartney.

Photograph © Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club