Photo Credit: Benjamin Amure 

At such a young age, Reuben James has already demonstrated he is an exceptional pianist performing with the late, great New Orleans trumpeter, Abram Wilson as well as Birmingham’s Jazzlines Quartet, in an impressive support slot for the legendary jazz saxophonist, Wayne Shorter. His ambition is simple, to bring a new flavour of jazz to the UK scene.

“Fast becoming Britain’s best young jazz pianist” – The Times

“A star in the making” – Jazzman

Here I try to find out what makes Reuben James tick.

What’s your first memory? 

Playing the piano on my sister’s lap.

Who do you admire most?

Louis Armstrong.

What would your super power be?


What is the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

That I had no ‘feel’ on the piano.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Listening to NSYNC.

If you could play another instrument what would it be?


What has been your biggest disappointment?

Not seeing Michael Jackson live.

Which two musicians would feature in your dream band?

Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder.

Which words or phrases do you overuse?

“That’s sick” and “It’s getting emotional”.

What are you currently listening to?

Nat King Cole, Errol Garner ‘Concert by the Sea’ and NERD.

What was the most important thing Abram taught you?

That every time I play, play like it’s the last time I’m ever going to play.

Catch Reuben with his trio, Alex Davis on double bass and Dave Hamblett on drums at the Birmingham Symphony Hall Foyer, on Tuesday 4th June from 5pm – 6:30pm.  Together they will be marking a year since Abram passed away with a very special performance.

More details can be found HERE.

Till soon!


Jennie x