“…his extravagance and pure skill as a guitarist, are the stuff of a legend in the making."
The Globe and Mail
Jimmy James: Virtuoso Guitarist
Jimmy James, an icon of the blues scene in Quebec, plays a soulful blend of musical styles. Never one to be pegged, his ever evolving sound pushes the limits of rhythm, blues, jazz, rock, country, fusion, classical and funk. It's a diverse mix for a master guitar player who is both grounded and rocks on the edge of wild. With fingers that move at incredible speeds and a dexterity that seems at odds with his calm and easygoing presence, he is both immensely talented and the guitar player other guitar players love to watch.
Jimmy James’ impressive resume includes jamming with the likes of Jeff Healey, Frank Marino, King Crimson and Vanilla Fudge as well as shows with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lonnie Mack, David Bowie, David Lindley, and Steve Vai. Working and collaborating closely with Michel Pagliaro on his album Coup de Coeur, Jimmy co-wrote many of the album’s songs as well as played guitar.
Nanette Workman is yet another singer, a Quebec chanteuse, whose albums bear Jimmy’s name as guitar player. Other collaborations involved musicians Karen Young and Carl Tremblay. Jimmy's television exposure includes guest spots on Norman Braithwaite’s popular Quebec television show, Beau et Chaud among others, and two television documentaries on his musical career: one for Le Point and one for Bravo Blues.
A self-taught artist, Jimmy James is deeply respected for his extensive knowledge and comprehension of musical theory. Born Demetrios Bakolias in Sparta, Greece he grew up in Montreal, where he discovered his passion at an early age. From 13 on, he devoted himself fully to the guitar – jamming in clubs, listening to a wide range of music and practicing night and day.
For 35 years Jimmy has enlivened the Quebec music scene with regular gigs at clubs and reknowned festivals in Quebec and Ontario such as the Montreal Jazz Festival, Café Campus Blues Festival and Festival Blues de Mont-Tremblant.
Jimmy James Band