Photo by Reuben Radding

   James Moore is a versatile guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been active on the East Coast since 2004, earning the titles of "local electric guitar hero" by Time Out New York and "model new music citizen" by the New York Times. Performing on a wide array of guitars, banjos, mandolins and home-made instruments, James blends his classical training with a healthy dose of improvisation, theatrics, and experimentation.

     You may have found James in a variety of performance situations: at the Ghent Jazz Festival performing John Zorn's Book of Heads for solo guitar; at the Pompidou Center as an on-stage musician and actor for playwright Richard Maxwell's Neutral Hero; At the Kennedy Center playing for composer David Lang and choreographer Susan Marshall's dance piece PLAY/PAUSE; at BAM playing the music of George Crumb on mandolin and singing saw with Dawn Upshaw and Gilbert Kalish; at the Barbican playing Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint; at Lincoln Center Out of Doors performing with Lee Ranaldo and Yo La Tengo.

    James is a founding member and director of Dither, an electric guitar quartet that has gained international recognition for precision playing and creative programming. Other projects include The Hands Free, an acoustic quartet with fellow performer/composers Caroline Shaw, Nathan Koci, and Eleonore Oppenheim; the avant-grunge/sloppy-math rock band Forever House with Meaghan Burke, Peter Wise and James Ilgenfritz, and Moore's longstanding duo with violinist Andie Springer. In addition to writing music for his own projects, James composes for other groups and artists, including pianist Kathleen Supové, The Rhythm Method, String Noise, and The Anagram Ensemble.

    James's first solo recording, Zorn's Book of Heads, was released on Tzadik in 2015, accompanied with a documentary film by director Stephen Taylor. The film meticulously captures Moore's performance, which utilizes an arsenal of preparations and extended techniques involving balloons, children's toys and common household items. James can also be heard on releases from Touch, Cantaloupe, Bridge, New World, Henceforth, Innova, Slip, Infrequent Seams, New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records.

    James received his BA from The University of California, Santa Cruz, his MM in guitar performance from Yale University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in music composition at Princeton University. He has served on the faculty of Princeton's Atelier program, and has been a guest artist at universities across the country and abroad. His essay on the manuscripts of John Cage, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison and Virgil Thomson's collaboratively written Sonorous or Exquisite Corpses was published in Arcana: Musicians on Music.