A professional musician for most of his life, James Kamal’s music effectively combines the traditions of jazz, pop and gospel with other contemporary genres. His Puerto Rican heritage, the culture of his inner-city upbringing, resounds in his music.
Drumming for Ornette Coleman’s group for five years, he built proficiency in Coleman’s harmelodic concept. He has been the heart of rhythm sections for Roberta Flack, The Delphonics, Cab Calloway, Yusef Lateef, Shirley Ceasar, Leroy Jenkins, Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Jack McDuff, Lonnie Smith, Africa Bembatta and Al King, among others.
Jones’ travels worldwide and exposure to a wide range of people qualify him uniquely to understand and address differences in culture, class and living environments. He has performed at major concert venues and festivals throughout the US, Canada, Iceland, Europe, the Middle East and Japan.
James Kamal studied with master drummers Charles Persip, Kenwood Dennard, and Freddie Waites. He studied at Harlem’s famous Jazz Mobile with Ron Carter and Frank Foster.
James Kamal is the recipient of an NEA grant for jazz performance. He is sought after for his sound engineering. His home-based studio records a variety of projects.