James Barrera has been active as a performer and educator in the Southern California area for the past 15 years. While a student at California State University, Long Beach he performed with the Wind Symphony, University Symphony Orchestra, Studio I Jazz Band, and the CSULB Saxophone Ensemble. After completing his BM in Saxophone Performance, James attended the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana as a Saxophone Performance Major. He performed throughout the Midwest as a member of the IU Wind Ensemble conducted by Ray Cramer, and as a featured soloist at many North American Saxophone Alliance conferences. He graduated with a M.M. in Saxophone Performance in 2003.
James has played with many symphony orchestras such as the American Youth Symphony, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Indiana University Festival Orchestra, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Bloomington POPS, and the Rio Hondo Symphony. As an advocate for classical saxophone and new music, he has commissioned or premiered many works for saxophone and piano, saxophone quartet, and saxophone and flute. James has studied under many of the world’s most well know classical saxophonists, including Jean-Yves Formeau, Dr. Ken Fisher, Stephen Jordheim, Dr. Stephen Mauk, and Joe Lulloff. His primary teachers are Leo Potts and Dr. Otis Murphy.
He is a founding member of the Los Angeles Saxophone Quartet, and one half of the ALLOY Wind Duo. His students can be found in the nations top graduate programs, and he recently judged at the MTNA National Senior and Young Artist solo competition. James has served as Associate Instructor of Saxophone at Indiana University, is currently Professor of Saxophone at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, and Saxophone Instructor at the Orange County High School of the Arts.