James studied Taiko in Japan for 4 years with Osamu Munakata-sensei, Head of the Hiroshima Taiko Hozonkai. His first UK performance was in London in 1988 and in 1993 he set up the UK’s first regularly peforming traditional Taiko Group, Akatsuki Daiko. Soon after, he began performing with the renowned multipercussionist, and Europe’s top solo Taiko player, Joji Hirota.
In 1995 he led the UK’s first hands-on drumming course with Mark Alcock which culminated in a performance at the WOMAD festival in Reading. Since 1998 he has been teaching, performing, composing and recording Taiko full-time. He set up Taiko Wales in 2000 and Taiko West in 2002.
In 2005/6 he was guest touring drummer with Taiko Meantime in their collaboration with Henri Oguike Dance Company. In 2009 he reconnected with Thomas Adams School in Wem to lead the ongoing schools taiko groups as well as the regular adult evening classes at Wem Town Hall. The Wem Taiko Fest that James helps to coordinate has become a major event in the UK Taiko calendar and is now into its 4th year.