James was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1974. After working with the cream of Adelaide’s jazz and rock musicians James relocated to Sydney in the summer of 1996, where he quickly became one of the most in-demand guitarists in the country.
He has played and/or recorded with Vince Jones, James Morrison, Dale Barlow, Mike Nock, Renee Geyer, Bernie McGann, Don Burrows, Mark Isaacs, Steve Hunter and Scott Tinkler as well as international artists Chad Wackerman, Bill Stewart, Vinnie Colaiuta, Maria Schneider, , Donny McCaslin, Bob Sheppard, Matt Pendman and Jochen Rueckert.
James was co-winner of the National Jazz Awards in 2000, held at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival and in 2001 won two Mo awards for best jazz instrumentalist and best jazz group.
James won an APRA award for most performed jazz work 2003, and also the 2004 Freedman Fellowship (Jazz).