James Beauton

James Beauton's Biography

James Beauton, winner of the 2012 Southern California International Marimba Competition, Michigan State University Honors Competition, as well as other performance and academic awards, has received praise and acknowledgement from numerous audiences across North America and Europe. Being a well-rounded percussionist is James' secret to success, allowing him to create fresh and exciting ways of performing and teaching by combining his knowledge of multiple styles, genres, and disciplines of not only percussion playing, but music itself. This mindset has led him to a plethora of different musical experiences allowing him to claim such titles as marimbist, session drummer, conguero, timbalero, contemporary percussionist, and many more.

James began his teaching career at the age of seventeen. Since then, he has led multiple drum lines and marching bands to state and national championships, held private teaching studios in New York City and Los Angeles, and was awarded the position of undergraduate percussion instructor at SUNY Stony Brook, where his duties involved designing and teaching the curriculum for the undergraduate percussion studio. This passion as an educator has also led him to present multiple masterclasses and other percussion events all over the United States.

The commissioning and collaboration of new music is important to James, and he is currently involved as a member with the percussion trio, Tala Rasa, in a project that means to drastically increase the amount of today's percussion repertoire. Throughout his career, James has worked closely with composers such as John Mackey, Andrew Conklin, Ricardo Lorenz, Roshanne Etezady, Felix Pastor, John Corigliano, Tomek Regulski, and Alejandro Vinao. James has also taken over direction of the Inland Percussion Festival, which hosts regional guest artists and high level student performers. Such collaboration with local musicians and students is part of an effort James is making to spread the exposure of artful percussion playing across southern California.

James has performed with ensembles such as Tala Rasa Percussion, The Santa Monica Symphony, Opera Moderne, the Michigan State Wind Symphony, the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Interlochen All-State Orchestra, and has been a featured soloist with the Michigan State University Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras, the Contemporary Chamber Players, and at the Stony Brook Day of Percussion. James has also performed GĂ©rard Grisey's Le Noir de l'Etoile with the Yellow Barn Music Festival as a part of an Artist Residency, and has appeared as a guest artist at universities from coast to coast.

James is a Yamaha Performing Artist and performs exclusively with Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets.

James Beauton's Gear