"...dazzling clarity of tone and eloquence of phrasing..."
James Reese is an avid ensemble, chamber, and solo musician whose singing has been praised for its “intensity and sensitivity...spirituality and eloquence.” (Chestnut Hill Local
His 2017-18 season included appearances with Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque; Masaaki Suzuki and Juilliard415; the American Classical Orchestra; and at the Ad Astra Music Festival.
In May, he made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in Bach's B Minor Mass with the New York Choral Society, directed by David Hayes. Of that performance, the New York Classical Review wrote, "the high, easy tenor of James Reese...floated beautifully on its own over the long, gentle lines of the Benedictus."
In June 2018, he will make his European debut with ensemble Seconda Prat!ca, in a recital with soprano Lucía Caihuela at Splendor Amsterdam.
Previously, James has performed nationally and internationally, including a tour of India singing the world premiere of Reena Esmail's This Love Between Us with Yale's Schola Cantorum and Juilliard 415. Other highlights included his debut as a Bach evangelist in Weinachts-Oratorium with Choral Arts Philadelphia; lute songs in recital with Nigel North and Gallicantus; performances at Big Ears New Music Festival; and Benjamin Britten's Canticle IV: Still Falls the Rain with hornist Josh Thompson. James was a finalist in the 2018 Woolsey Hall concerto competition, performing Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings with hornist Antonia Chandler.
An advocate for new music, James is a founding member of Philadelphia vocal sextet Variant 6 (variantsix.com). He has premiered works by Ted Hearne, John Luther Adams, Judd Greenstein, Joel Puckett, Gabriel Jackson, and others. James sings frequently with leading American choruses, including The Crossing, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Seraphic Fire, True Concord, and The Thirteen.
He has recorded on the ECM, Innova, and Albany labels; including The Crossing's release of Gavin Bryars' The Fifth Century, which won a Grammy for Best Choral Performance in 2018. He also sang on 2016 Grammy-Nominated Bonhoeffer, released by the Crossing.
James is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where he studied with Kurt R. Hansen, Alan Darling, and Donald Nally. He is a recent graduate of Yale University's Institute of Sacred Music, where he studied with James Taylor as part of the Yale Voxtet.