James King (musician)

This article is about the soul musician. For other people named James King, see James King (disambiguation).
James King

James King
Background information
Birth name James King
Genres Pop, soul, adult contemporary, R&B
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone, Flute, keyboard, guitar, melodica, penny whistle, manualist
Years active 2000–present
Labels Elektra
Associated acts Fitz and The Tantrums
Website twitter.com/jkingsax

James King is an American multi-instrumentalist who is a cofounder for soul band Fitz and The Tantrums. In 2008, he was approached by college friend Michael Fitzpatrick to play saxophone on a few songs that he had written which turned out to be the beginnings of Fitz and The Tantrums.[1] King recommended Noelle Scaggs and other musicians. They performed for the first time a week later at Hollywood's Hotel Café,[2] They released their debut EP Songs for a Breakup, Vol. 1[3] in August 2009,[4][5] and the tracks soon received airplay on public radio station KCRW in Los Angeles.[6]

Six months after their first performance they had slots at Lollapalooza and Telluride Blues & Brews.[7] In late 2009 they toured with Hepcat, Flogging Molly, and opened eight concerts for Maroon 5.[8] The band signed to Dangerbird Records in April 2010,[9][10] Their first full-length album, Pickin' Up the Pieces was released on August 24, 2010. It received critical acclaim and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart,[11] 140 on the Billboard 200,[12] and 18 on the Independent Albums chart.

They were called by Vogue Magazine the "Hardest Working Band of 2011,"[13] Also according to Rolling Stone, the band "throws a sparkling pop gloss on a familiar Motown sound"[3] The group will be touring South America in the latter part of March 2015, stopping in Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. They are scheduled to be in Indio, California in April 2015, and will appear at the Lava Music Festival in May.

He is the saxophonist of the prolific saxophone solo on M83's song Midnight City.


King was raised by a jazz guitarist father and a classical cellist mother. They introduced him to a wide range of music from an early age. In addition to the jazz training and classical training that he started at age five, he also started learning guitar, violin and piano before settling on the flute when he was 9 years old. He added the saxophone when he was 11. He studied music privately and attended LA County High School for the Arts for his last two years of high school, after which he attended the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)(1993-1999) where he went to earn his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in jazz performance.[1] Before he worked on a wide range of projects in the music industry (see below) and taught at the Silverlake Conservatory of Music.[14]


Fitz and The Tantrums

Studio albums

Other Work


  1. 1 2 Almaida, Evan (May 21, 2013). "Fitz and the Tantrums New Album: James King Talks 'More Than Just a Dream'". Arts.Mic.
  2. Korina Lopez (February 13, 2011). "On the verge: Fitz & the Tantrums channel the Motown spirit". USA Today. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  3. 1 2 "Band to Watch: Fitz and the Tantrums Put a Modern Spin on Motown". Rolling Stone. 12 Apr 2011. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011.
  4. Fitz & the Tantrums at Allmusic
  5. "Fitz & the Tantrums: Finding plenty of soul mates". Buzz Bands. Los Angeles. June 17, 2010. Retrieved Jun 22, 2011.
  6. Matthew Wilkening (March 12, 2010). "Fitz and the Tantrums Interview: SXSW 2010". Spinner. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  7. Smith, Adam (November 1, 2011). "Fitz & the Tantrums' Noelle Scaggs: I'm Inspired by My 7-Year-Old Niece". Broward Palm Beach. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
  8. "Fitz and the Tantrums". Alternative Press 267 (October 2010), p. 58.
  9. Martens,Todd (April 26, 2010). "Dangerbird inks neo-soul act Fitz & the Tantrums". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
  10. Martins, Chris (April 27, 2010). "Fitz and the Tantrums Sign to Dangerbird, Tour with Dap-Kings, Plan Spaceland Residency". LA Weekly.
  11. "Fitz & the Tantrums Album & Song Chart History – Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  12. "Fitz & the Tantrums Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  13. Campion, Freddie (June 7, 2011). "Music: Best of Summer 2011 Festivals". Vogue Daily.
  14. 1 2 3 4 King, James. "James King". Linked in. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  15. "Orgone". Retrieved October 13, 2014.

External links

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