James Norris
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James Norris

Band Jazz Jazz

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Discography

LPs
Empty Tables
Night and Day

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Bio

James atteneded the University of North Texas as a vocal performance major. There he studied classical voice as a
1st tenor with the late Stephen Farrish. Here he gained knowledge of classical and jazz vocal style, but it was the jazz that
he truly connected with. He began performing at local Fort Worth jazz jams at the Black Dog and the Moon, performing with
and befriending many different players. He also started performing at the Italian Inn in Fort Worth with many instrumentlists
such as Toby Ingram, Ray Brown, Darlene Harms, Marc Emmick, then predominantly with Michael McVay - award winning piano
player and UT Dallas music proffesor. His first showcased vocal jazz gig was with the Brandon Nelson Trio at the Black Dog
Tavern. It was at this time that James met Myles Hayes, a fellow vocalist and performer at the Inn. The duo soon realized the
potential dynamic of their different yet complimentary styles, and decided to take their sound into the studio.
Recorded at First Street Audio in Fort Worth, produced by Jordan Richardson of the L.A. based band Oliver Future,
and released in July of 2005, the sixteen track album, "Empty Tables", brought together jazz musicians from all over the
Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, and captured the varied styles which Myles and James could perform. Thrilled to finally
sing with a full band, the two worked to find a permanent group. It was then in October in 2006 that The Moondevils
premiered at The Moon, swinging a set of the standards.
The talent of the Moondevils includes Keyboard and trumpet player Justin Barbee, bassist Dino Villanueva, guitarist Ron Geida,
percussionist Austin Allen, and saxophonist Jeff Dazey. After a few months of leading their weekly jazz jams at The Moon,
the group quickly discovered their own style and started swinging through other venues in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
including 8.0’s, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Embargo, The Beagle, The Lonesome Dove, The Black Dog Tavern,
Ten Martini Lounge and the five-star Adolphus Hotel. After almost two years together, in February 2007 the Moondevils
recorded a new nine-track album of jazz standards entitled "Night & Day". Again working with Jordan Richardson to record
at First Street Audio, "Night & Day" was recently released in July of 2007.
Realizing the larger potential for his style of music, James moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in March of this year. Already
semi-established with the help of fellow jazz vocalist Myles Hayes, James is planting his roots as a Milwaukee/Chicago jazz
vocalist and will be performing whenever/wherever he can! He is currently performing with different variations of
instrumentalists at various venues such as The Centennial in Milwaukee, Pete Miller's in Schaumberg, and Katerina's Wine Bar
in Wicker Park.