As a young man, Stafford James enlisted in the Air Force; after his discharge he studied at the University of Chicago with Rudolf Fahsbender. In 1969 he moved to New York City and studied under Julius Levine at the Mannes College for Music. Here he met Pharaoh Sanders, with whom he played his first jazz concerts in New York. James played with Monty Alexander and Sun Ra at the end of the 1960s as well. Soon after he worked with Alice Coltrane and Albert Ayler. He did the first road tour of the Broadway show Hair and toured Canada with them in 1970. In 1971 he met Melba Moore, and played with her as part of the David Frost Revue. Other performances in the early 1970s included gigs with Rashied Ali, Roy Ayers, Al Haig, Barry Harris, Andrew Hill, Andrew Cyrille, and Chico Hamilton.
- Festival Performance Date Saturday, August 31, 2013
- Festival Performance Time 5:00 – 5:50pm
- Festival Performance Location / Address Millennium Park - Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
- Artist Website staffordjames.com
- Instrument Bass