James Morton is one of the most promising saxophonists on the scene today. Born in 1982, from English, Russian and Polish descent, James began to play aged 9.
Performing his first gig aged 12 it wasn’t long before James graced the Jazz/World Music stage at Glastonbury aged just 16. Soon after James went global performing at festivals across Europe and America.
Aged 22 Morton completed his Masters Degree in Jazz at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music.
A major influence and mentor to James throughout his career has been the enigmatic Pee Wee Ellis and James remains a core member of Pee Wee Ellis’ - Still Black Still Proud, a tribute to James Brown which has headlined main stages at festivals across Europe.
Another mentor and undoubtable influence has been the inspirational Andy Sheppard. Since playing at numerous gigs with the quartet in Morton’s hometown of Bristol, he is now integral soloist in Sheppard’s Sax Massive.
In August 2010 James was recruited by The Herbaliser as a full member and continues to tour and record with the outfit extensively.
In 2010 James was also commissioned by Canary Wharf to collaborate with three other musicians in the form of Alex Wilson, Kathryn Tickell and Kishon Kahn to write a suite of music referencing a musical journey between the four compass points, a point for each artist. James’ compass point was west - “I wanted to write something big, fat and funky with a New Orleans street party feel”. The suite was performed on an orbital stage in Canada Square in Canary Wharf involving an 8 piece core band and youth project Kinetica Blocko. James worked closely with the South London based group in a workshop style environment and developed the song which was performed in its entirity by 26 musicians in a stunning display.
James Morton’s Porkchop, a sax fronted Hammond organ qurtet realeased the album “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout That” in 2010 to critical acclaim.
James first solo album “The Kid” features Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Andy Sheppard, members from the Herbaliser, The soul collective gospel choir and more… “The Kid is due to be release in 2014.
To date his talents appear on Pendulum’s platinum selling Drum’n'Bass album Hold Your Colour and he has performed with some of the foremost artists in the world including Raphael Saadiq, Kasabian, Fred Wesley and The New JB’s, Roni Size, Tony Allen, Angelique Kidjo, Carleen Anderson, Marcella Detroit,The Mahotella Queens, Lillian Boutté, Beth Rowley, Clare Teal, Keith Tippett, Jason Rubello, Orphy Robinson, Jazz Jamaica, Snowboy and Tomorrow’s Warriors to name a few.