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“James is an outstanding young musician, very talented and definitely a musician who will make his way.”​


—  Markus Stockhausen, trumpeter/composer


1st Prize: International Chamber Music Competition for Flute & Guitar

In 2023, James' Meraki Duo with flautist Meera Maharaj were awarded 1st prize in the International Chamber Music Competition for Flute & Guitar: held in Burriana, Spain. Meraki Duo will dedicate the prize money towards recording their debut album.

Associate Artist of the Royal Northern College of Music

James has been conferred the honour of Associate Artist of the RNCM at the conservatoire's Congregation of Awards. The ARNCM is a prestigious new award made available to recent alumni of the College judged to have achieved outstanding success in the early stages of their careers. 

Thomas Hardy album: Arthur Keegan (composer/arranger/producer) /
Lotte Betts-Dean (mezzo) / Ligeti Quartet / Kerry Andrew (composer)

Delphian Records record and release (2024) a commercial album celebrating Thomas Hardy's poetry in music. 100 years of songs unearthed and reimagined through brand new music. A narrative of love and loss woven from poetry and song. For more information

Agbeko release There Must Be Another Way

12-piece band Agbeko, of which James is co-founder, are touring their newly released sophomore album (2023): There Must Be Another Way. It has been spun by BBC Radio 6 and by BBC Music Introducing among other stations. Have a listen here.

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Manchester Jazz Festival 2023: Aaron Wood & James Girling duo

Jazz North alumni having formerly co-led Artephis, trumpeter/producer Aaron Wood and classically-trained guitarist/improviser James Girling have been collaborating for 8 years. Newly reconnected in an acoustic pairing, influences span American jazz, Brazilian music and classical styles; their enticing arrangements and intimate compositions are imbued with empathic sensitivity and swing. For more information.

Buxton International Festival 2023: Meraki Duo

2023 marks 10 years of flute-guitar Meraki Duo. The Duo celebrates its anniversary with their Buxton International Festival debut: performing a programme of Dvorák, Takemitsu, Piazzolla, and James' arrangements of music by William Grant Still and Hermeto Pascoal/Quarteto Novo. For more information.


Jazz & Original Music

Composition & Arranging

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