James Sanders

The son of a Dominican mother and U.S. born father, violinist James Sanders grew up in an ethnically-mixed Chicago neighborhood. He began violin studies at the age of ten, attended DePauw University on a full scholarship and eventually studied with Sidney Harth at the Yale School of Music, earning a Master’s Degree in Performance. He joined the Chicago Sinfonietta in 1993. He has also performed as a member of several other orchestras and ensembles across the region, including the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Black Music Repertory Ensemble, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, and the Joffrey Ballet. In 2004, Sanders was a featured soloist on the Sinfonietta’s Chicago premiere of Chris Brubeck’s Interplay. In his review of the performance, Chicago Tribune classical critic John von Rhein remarked, “Sanders was the epitome of cool… ”. During the 2007-08 Season, Sanders served as curator for the Chicago Sinfonietta Chamber Music Series at the National Museum of Mexican Art.

In addition to classical music, Sanders has a parallel career as an in-demand jazz violinist. He formed the James Sanders Trio in 1990, and then created the highly-regarded Latin jazz ensemble Conjunto in 2002, which he continues to lead. In 2011, a special expanded edition of Conjunto headlined at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion before an audience of nearly 10,000. As a leader and collaborator, James has recorded and performed internationally with such notable musicians as Dee Alexander, Harrison Bankhead, Alfonso Ponticelli and more, performing at prestigious festivals in Poland, France, Italy, Brazil, and Chicago. He has released four CDs on Amadeus Records, including 2013’s critically-acclaimed Blue Violin, which was a Top 10 most-played record on nearly 100 jazz radio stations in the United States and Canada.

James Sanders is married to fellow violinist Tamara Glassburg. Their son, Robert, is also a promising violinist. In addition to his performance activity, Sanders coordinates the Middle School String Program in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

For more info on James, check out his website!