James Woolwine is an accomplished solo pianist and acoustic guitar player. Beginning his studies at the age of 7 under acclaimed pianist Carolyn Victorine, James went on to earn the RVMTA merit scholarship in 1999 and 2000, and advance to the finals of the 1999 Virginia Lion's Club music competition. Since graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2004, James has proven himself to be a versatile performer, playing for: rock band GB3, metal band Acrasjia, contemporary violinist Tai Cheri, gospel production Spigospera, and the musicals "Godspell" and "Seussical". This diverse background continues to carry over into James' solo concerts, where multiple styles of music rub together. Among his numerous solo performances was the prestigious "Greene Memorial Fine Arts Series" in Roanoke, Virgina; and 2 separate appearances at the "Music at St. Margaret's Concert Series" in Annapolis, Maryland.
Since 2008 James has been an in-demand solo performer for weddings and private functions.
As a pianist James strives to offer his clients a wide variety of the music they love at a reasonable price. He maintains a well-known repertoire of Classical, Jazz, and Pop/Rock music. If you are unsure what music will be most appropriate for your event, or just want a nice mix, James will be able to play something you'll enjoy. He's also delighted many clients with his willingness to learn new, and often non-traditional songs, upon request. No music is off limits. If you want it, he'll figure out how to play it for you. He is always happy to bring his own keyboard if a piano is not available on-site.
As a solo acoustic guitarist James maintains a small mixed repertoire of original, Classical, and contemporary fingerstyle music. Many of his pieces are not very well-known, but they are all very appropriate for background ambiance, and weddings especially. Past clients have been pleasantly surprised with the music he's provided. Furthermore, he is as happy to learn new guitar music as with piano. He transitions seamlessly between fingerstyle and flatpicking, and often incorporates a looping pedal to create amazing sonic textures. People who are looking for incredible guitar music will appreciate James' talents.
For clients wondering if James is Classical guitarist, he likes to reply that it depends on their definition of "Classical". Traditional Classical guitarists play with their fingers on nylon-stringed instruments. He plays the same repertoire they do with his fingers on a steel-stringed instrument. The only difference is in the sound/tone of the strings. For clients who are unfamiliar with the differences, James can provide them with musical samples to make comparisons and determine their personal preference.
For clients wondering if James sings, the answer is "sometimes, if requested". James' specialty is instrumental music. He is not an experienced singer, but he is working to improve that. If a client wants to request a vocal song James will direct them to his personal website. There they can hear samples of his singing and decide for themselves if it is to their liking.
James can provide organized repertoire lists for piano and guitar.
"Working with James for my wedding cocktail hour was great. He was very prompt and professional in his response to my messages. Just speaking with him a few times gave me the utmost confidence that he would deliver a fantastic performance, which he did. James really set the tone for an elegant evening. He will come highly recommended to my peers in search of musical talent for any event." - Dan D.
"I was very happy with your performance at my daughter's wedding. My family and friends enjoyed the music you chose as well as your piano skills. Your playing added to the festivities of the evening. We would certainly hire you again if the occasion arises." - Jane B.
"When our booked pianist disappeared a week before our wedding, I started to go into panic mode. Thanks goodness James came to the rescue. Not only was he available to help us on such short notice, he did the most wonderful job playing a varied selection of music to appeal to our guests. I would highly recommend James for any special occasion." - Caitlin B.