Since settling full-time in the USA, James has worked closely with renowned swing clarinetist Dan Levinson to create the New York All-Star Big Band, performing regularly in the Tri-State area and beyond. The band’s repertoire has grown out of the now massive library of arrangements James has collected over the years, many from the archives of the original bands. “… the music we play has actually been gathered together by me from American universities, from the original ‘books of the Big Bands’… You know, I’ve got copies of the actual original arrangements,” he told a journalist for ‘Blues and Soul Magazine’ last year. 2014 was a particularly busy year for James Langton.
The New York All-Star Big Band, featuring clarinetist Dan Levinson and singer Molly Ryan, played the only sell-out date at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing. James and the band were then invited to perform regularly at the beautiful Art Deco Rainbow Room, atop Rockefeller Center, in its first year re-opening after its fabulous renovation.
James Langton also garnered much praise for his weekly radio show This Thing Called Swing and was the recipient of a coveted Audie Award for his contribution to the audiobook Astray for Hachette as well as making regular voice-over appearances on the David Letterman show. His success in radio has led to an invitation to make a weekly three-hour version of This Thing Called Swing for WFDU 89.1 radio to be broadcast on Tuesdays, 12 noon to 3pm.
As part of his Master’s Degree studies, James also formed what would become his Solid Senders Orchestra in London, initially to recreate the band of clarinetist Artie Shaw from the original music manuscripts. The band became so popular with listeners and dancers alike that James expanded the repertoire to include Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Lunceford and many of the great bands of the period. The Solid Senders continue to perform with James at concert halls such as The National Concert Hall, Dublin, Snape Maltings and the Royal Festival Hall, for international festivals and Swing Dance events and movie premieres. The band also recorded soundtracks for television and film, including the movie score of Me and Orson Welles (2008).
James Langton earlier paid his musical dues playing with his trio at London’s famous Dorchester Hotel while studying Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music. He then took on a theatrical engagement in London’s West End which later transferred to Broadway, leading to a move full-time to New York.
Whether making music with bands big and small, as host of his radio show This Thing Called Swing or as an award-winning audiobook narrator and voice-over artist, James Langton’s suave and soft-toned voice mixes inherent classic elegance with easy-going humor and natural stage-presence.
“James Langton: Internationally renowned as a re-creator of the Big Band Swing Sound”
Blues and Soul Magazine
Singer and musician James Langton appears regularly with his bands, big and small, and as host of his syndicated radio show This Thing Called Swing, entertaining with charm, wit and sophistication. Most importantly he brings an authority based in his passionate love and knowledge of the music of the Swing Era and beyond.
English born James Langton rose to prominence as the singer and leader of the internationally acclaimed Pasadena Roof Orchestra with whom he toured worldwide for seven years.