James Mahone has circled the world playing sax. He was an original member and composer for the popular Los Angeles-based jazz band, Black Note, that won first prize at the John Coltrane Young Artist Competition in 1991. With them, he performed throughout the US and Europe, recording 4 albums along the way. He also performed with numerous other groups, including Wynton Marsalis, Eric Reed, Billy Higgins, Gil-Scott Heron, El De Barge, Josh Redman, and others.
From 1996 to 2001 he made the east coast his home and played with NY-based soul/funk band Mothersfavoritechild and the R&B band The Chesterfields, recording with them as well as with Matt Otto, Unified Quest, Willie Jones and Dawan Muhammad. While there, he continued his musical education and taught privately as well.
From 2001 he worked in Japan as a freelance musician and instructor. providing his sax to recordings for the Kan Fuji Quintet, Marcus Shelfy, Kankawa and Tiger Onitsuka. While there, he played with Michael Wolff, Jon B. Williams, Ali Jackson, Calvin Edwards, Cecil Monroe, Jimmie Smith, Anthony Wonsey, scotty Writght, Angela Stribling, Yoshiko Saita, Mike Price, Greg Bandy, Kozue Saito and others.
James writes an educational jazz blog (“Practice Portal”) providing short compositions, transcriptions with mp3s and recommendations for music to listen to.
Recently, he has come full circle and returned to California where he continues to freelance and give private instruction.