James Hoskins Biography

James Hoskins is a multi-instrumentalist living in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado.  Primarily known for his use of the cello in a wide variety of genres, he also performs regularly on gadulka(a Bulgarian folk-fiddle), and other Balkan and Turkish folk instruments, in addition to singing in Greek, Arabic, Japanese, and Turkish. James has in the last few years been playing guitar and bouzouki for the Greek “Glendi” (Greek-style party of music/dance/food/community) held every month at an historic Schoolhouse in the small mountain community of Salina, CO. due to a deep and growing love of Rebetika music. He has been a modern-dance accompanist for ~24 years, utilizing piano, cello, all manner of drums, and percussion as available.

James also loves performing in improvisational settings such as the theater form known as “Playback Theater”, where the audience provides the subject matter, actors assume roles, and the musician spontaneously creates a sound-scape on the spot, and for the Boulder Public library’s “Midday Music Meditation” — a monthly offering in which a highly-seasoned  group of live musicians creates an hour of sublime music to facilitate a joyful meditative experience.

James has performed hundreds of shows with the Balkan/Middle-Eastern band Sherefe, has toured with Kailin Yong’s “Peace Project Trio”, and plays with various Balkan, Jazz, folk, and other ethnic-music based bands in the Front Range of Colorado.  He also toured Japan for 10 years, a few times per year, with vocalist/guitarist/arranger Akemi Iwase as a duo in which he played cello, Djembe, and sang in Japanese. James was also a founding member of “County Road X”, a jazz-based combo started by keyboardist Erik Deutsch(Charlie Hunter, Scooter Jennings, Citizen Cope) which played mostly original compositions, and included a rhythm section, horns, pedal-steel guitar, and cello. Another past endeavor was the “Free Range String Quartet” (2 violins, viola, cello – later replacing one of the violins with double-bass) which would improvise based on photographs, sculptures, various musical structures, and even audience suggestions made live in the moment at concerts!

James has contributed to many studio recordings, usually in the capacity of creating original cello parts, and soloing. One interesting job was creating layered cello parts for the Mötörhead album “1916” in Hollywood, where he and his wife Biz lived from 1987-1991.