James Bashford started playing drums age 13 and was influenced by the rock/progressive rock and jazz scene of England, he studied under Steve Palmer. After 14 years of playing as a sideman in bands covering all genres and also working in construction full time while studying on a popular music course, Jim then auditioned and studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire for the BMus (Hons.) jazz course where he studied under drum tutors such as the great TONY LEVIN, JEFF WILLIAMS, GENE CALDERAZZO, and MALCOLM GARRETT. He was also under the tuition of HANS KOLLER [composition], MIKE WILLIAMS [musicianship] and JEREMY PRICE [head of jazz].
As a student, Jim was a member of the Lluis Mathers Quartet who won the Dave Holland Award. He now works on the faculty after being given an offer to work there during his 3rd year on the course. He runs logistics and facilities at the Birmingham Conservatoire and organizes workshops with highly acclaimed artists on the jazz scene in Europe and the U.S. He also works alongside with Cheltenham Jazz Festival to run a session with conservatoire students and world renowned artists and has done this for the last 7 years as well as organizing auditions for the course in the U.K. and Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Jim has also studied and attended masterclasses from overseas tutors and artists: Dan Weiss, Thomas Morgan, Dave Binney, Billy Drummond, Tom Rainey, Drew Gress, Tony Bianco, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Francisco Mela, Otis Brown 111, Kurt Lightsey, Barry Harris, Mulgrew Miller, Dave Holland, Jeff Ballard, George Colligan, Dick Oatts, Jerry Bergonzi, Pete Zimmer, Uri Caine.
James also had tuition from the great drummer and composer Jim Black and also performed a tour in 2010 of original compositions with Black’s band AlasNoAxis Icelandic guitarist Hilmar Jensson. Following the huge success of the collaboration, they are now planning a tour for the future with a quartet consisting of Hilmar Jensson, Robin Fincker and Tim Harries.
Jim is a member of no less than 20 different ensembles and tours extensively throughout the UK and Europe, including appearances at major London jazz venues such as the Barbican Center, Vortex and Olivers; prominent venues in Birmingham including the Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Yardbird Jazz Club, the Rainbow etc. He has also performed in prestigious international jazz festivals including the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, most recently with Soweto Kinch band at juan le pins Jazz Festival in Nice and future engagements at the London Jazz Festival.
Artists he has worked with musically include: Dave Grey (Greyish quartet), Soweto Kinch, Omar [British R&B innovator], Meaghan Smith [Award-winning Warner artist, Canadian singer & songwriter] Husk, Chris Mapp’s Gambol, Maylight, Lizzy Parks, Sara Colman, Mike Williams, Nick Jurd Quartet, Rachel Cohen Trio, Nick Rundle Quartet, Ska’d 4 life, Triyeoh, Paris 1940s, Trio Nang Naak and Jim Bashford Quartet featuring Hilmar Jensson, Tim Harries or Johnny Brierley and Robin Fincker.
James is endorsed by CANOPUS drums Tokyo.