Who’s brotha James?

brotha James is a solo performer who does live looping: layering sounds through the magic of technology to create a full band effect. He isn’t the only performer out there doing this, but he has taken the technique and made it his own.  His positive energy is contagious and his enthusiasm for creating, playing and performing helps him engage audiences of all ages.

As a former member of FUNKTION, the Kalamazoo-based funk band, brotha James is a seasoned veteran on the scene.  After three years of 150+ shows per year in over 20 states, brotha James has a great perspective on proper preparation for shows, connecting with audiences of all types, and most importantly getting them involved in the performance.  Each show features a drum breakdown where the audience is given percussion instruments to keep the beat while he solos on the djembe.  There’s also a call and response section of the show where the audience will repeat what brotha James says over the top of a playing loop.  Both are big hits with the audience and take up the energy in the room or environment a couple of notches.

How does brotha James play?

Using a microkorg keyboard, an octopad drum pad, an acoustic guitar and his beatbox skills, he lays down the different layers of the song on different channels of his looper (recording pedal) and then uses those layers to add the verses, choruses and bridges of his songs with his feet.  While controlling the dynamics of the song, he utilizes his ability to sing and rap, thus delivering a high-energy performance.

What kind of music does brotha James perform?

brotha James will bring a hybrid of styles including pop, funk, reggae, dance and even a little bit of hip hop.  He interweaves these different styles into the set, keeping the audience on their toes and anticipating what’s coming next.  Each and every song has a theme of positive and empowering lyric that resonates with all audiences and rasises the good vibrations in the room.

What else do I need to know about brotha James?

Every gig for brotha James is more than just a gig, it’s an opportunity for him to spread the good vibes and continue the mission of creating positive energy and change through music!


  • Earth Works Harvest Gathering
  • Summer / Winter Micro Brew Fest
  • Buttermilk Jamboree
  • Festival On The Bay
  • Brew Camp


  • The Belmont – Austin, Tx
  • Schuba’s – Chicago, Il
  • Union St.Station – Traverse City, Mi
  • City Park Grill – Petoskey, Mi
  • The Union – Kalamazoo, Mi
  • Unruly Brewery – Muskegon, Mi
  • Our Brewing Company – Holland, Mi
  • The Stache – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Tap House Grill – St. Charles Il
  • Lassale Kitchen and Tavern – South Bend, In

Winner of The Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival Play in Contest
#8 Video NPR Tiny Desk Series for Michigan Artists – over 129 Michigan entries.
Nominated for 2 Jammie awards for the Album Animal

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