Some musicians are born with stories to tell and a dedication to their craft that sets them apart. James Hammel has performed his songs at The Metropolitan Room, a globally renowned NYC jazz and cabaret club, and The Bitter End, one of the top pop songwriter venues worldwide, and even the US Open Tennis Championships. His current band, James Hammel & Friends, performs in the Asheville, NC area and are regular, featured performers at acclaimed venues such as The Omnii Grove Park Inn, Biltmore Estate, 5 Walnut Wine Bar, The Classic Wineseller, and a host of other venues. James also performs regularly at private events.
From --Roy Sander, Critic and Columnist (formerly of Back Stage and Citysearch):
"On stage, James Hammel is at once completely natural and artfully focused, a rare combination. He gets to the core of each song with easy grace and understated eloquence."
A student of jazz guitar great, Sal Salvador, and a trained vocalist, James has spent decades training and honing his voice and guitar work. James' music is a diverse, soulful, jazz-inspired mix of singing and guitar filled with great energy and expression. The music is a mix of jazz, pop, blues, rock, and award-winning originals (James was a finalist in the Great American Song Contest and has an original song charted on Billboard's Top 500).
Fans of James' describe his vocal sound, style, and interpretation as capturing Sting's sensitivity, the class and touch of Michael Buble, the cleverness of Michael Franks, the innocence of Chet Baker, and the playfulness of John Pizzarelli. But the music selection doesn't stop there as James is an excellent showman with excellent guitar chops and a trained voice with a warm, interpretive, and sincere sound.
James Hammel & Friends is a scalable group of great musicians that can perform solo (James playing guitar and singing), as a duo with James and a saxophone player, a trio (with James, a saxophone player, and a percussionist), and a quartet (with James, a saxophone player, a percussionist, and a bass player). Customized acts are also available with larger groups with other instrumentation (especially drums, horn sections, piano, and more).
James Hammel & Friends song list includes more than 150 songs from artists that include Sting (The Police), Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Nat King Cole, Bobby Caldwell, Michel Legrand, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ivan Lins, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Maroon 5, Billy Withers, Billy Joel, Percy Mayfield, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Steely Dan, The Beatles, and Elton John. As a service to clients, James' can arrange and perform music selections customized to the clients event. This is especially helpful with wedding events where specific songs are desired for ceremonies.
Clients can structure their show with a focus on a specific genre (such as jazz, pop, blues) or have a mixed genre show. The band can deliver a show or perform as background music, whichever works best for the client.
James Hammel and Friends is available to travel domestically and internationally for performance events. Travel costs can be paid by the client or built into the overall performance fee for the gig. Outstanding references are available upon request.