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James Kerr: Bio

James possesses the ability to be equally at home in the worlds of fingerpicking blues and ragtime, classical guitar, and bluegrass dobro. He has performed at such New York area venues as Irving Plaza, The Knitting Factory, Gracie Mansion, Trinity Church, The Wetlands, Symphony Space, as well as the Juilliard School and Yale University. James attended the University of Michigan where he studied jazz, and received a master's in music education from Columbia University. He completed a doctorate in classical guitar performance in 2016 at Stony Brook University (SUNY). His primary teachers on classical guitar were Kevin Gallagher and Jerry Willard. James has also studied Renaissance lute technique and repertory in lessons and masterclasses with the world's leading players including Nigel North and Jakob Lindberg. In solo concerts James specializes in fingerpicking early blues and ragtime, original music on the dobro, along with music of the late Renaissance, in particular the lute fantasias of John Dowland and Simone Molinaro.  

James has also performed on dobro extensively in bluegrass bands throughout NYC, including as a longtime member of Citigrass.

James has performed as a soloist with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra Pops and festival performances have included the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, The Craftsbury Chamber Festival, The Long Island Guitar Festival, and the Battery Park Summer Concert Series in Manhattan.

James is currently on the music faculty teaching guitar and ensembles at Columbia University, Naugatuck Valley Community College, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY).