James Gentry grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana where he attended Harry E. Wood High School. While in High School, James studied classical clarinet with Achille Rossi of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestral. His interest at this early stage of his career was in classical music.James went on to play principal clarinet in many of the All-City and All-State Orchestrals in and around the state of Indiana.
After his graduation from high school, his interest in Jazz began to blossom. James attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he studied and refined his playing skills with the likes of Joe Viola and John Laporta. While there he also became interested in Jazz Composition and Arranging. He studied with some noteworthy teachers such as Herb Promeroy and James Williams.
After Graduation from Berklee, James freelanced while leading his own groups in and around the Boston area before moving to Southern California where he continues to freelance and lead his own Quintet.
James’s current Quintet plays an outstanding repertoire of Jazz Standards, Blues and many of his original compositions. James’ Quintet is a hard swinging band very reminiscent of, should we dare say, the many fine Art Blakey’s bands. But, we will let you judge that for yourself. So, if you are looking for the best in Contemporary Jazz, a band with that edge, and plenty of good Home Cooking, then the James Gentry Quintet is tailor-made for you!