James is a highly sought after Music Industry professional throughout Australia in several fields of performance, direction and education.
A graduate from the Queensland Conservatorium, with both a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Vibraphone) and Masters in Music studies (Performance and Conducting), and the Queensland University of Technology with a Graduate Diploma in Education, James is trained as a multi-disciplined percussionist, composer and educator.
Throughout his studies, James has been tutored by leading industry professionals including; Mark Charters (AUS), David Quinn (AUS), Tom O'Kelly (AUS), Steve Newcomb (AUS), Joe Locke (USA), Ed Saindon (USA), Dave Samuels (USA), Tony Miceli (USA).
"Brisbane born vibist, [James Whiting] has tapped instinctively into the elegant sound of the vibraphone with a maturity way beyond his 20 years... He plays with controlled finesse."
– Peter Wockner, Limelight Magazine Nov 2011
James also works extensively as percussionist, drummer and musical director in the Australian Musical Theatre scene. James has backed several internationally acclaimed theatre performers such as; Anthony Warlow, Faith Prince, Marina Prior, Daryl Somers, Rhonda Burchmore and Simon Gallaher, and can be heard as percussionist or drummer on Queensland seasons of INTO THE WOODS, CATS, GUYS AND DOLLS, OKLAHOMA, THE PRODUCERS, JEKYLL AND HYDE, MISS SAIGON, PIRATES OF PENZANCE and DIRECT FROM BROADWAY featuring Anthony Warlow and Faith Prince to name a few. Throughout his career, James has also provided musical direction for Blue Fish Theatrical (2010-2013), and aided as a musical direction and conducting constant on Harvest Rain Theatre Company's productions in 2014. Furthering his pit work in Australia, James was selected as a performing participant in the New York University Broadway pit percussion seminar and summit in June 2013. James is also no stranger to treading the boards in Music theatre as an Actor/Singer, and occasionally Dancer; in Brisbane productions of PORTRAIT OF DORIAN GRAY as Dorian Gray, CATS as Munkustrap, CHICAGO as Fred Casley and Quartet and SWEET CHARITY as Daddy Brubeck.
“James has achieved excellent work with these students, with a very fine attention to detail in his rehearsal methods and nurturing approach. The students are well equipped with director James Whiting, a rising star in so many aspects of Percussion/vibraphone playing, composition, theatre and the arts - he is one of Australia’s musical dynamos! James certainly plays from the heart and is a wonderful presenter and Leader, a rare combination of natural gift and well-honed craft."
– David Jones, Master Drummer, VCA/Melbourne University, 2014
"I've long enjoyed James' heart-connected pen, and he had it well in hand as he wrote the music for this project...compositions which all display intellectual rigor without losing sight of their target - the heart of the listener."
– Joe Locke, Jazz Icon, NYC Feb 2015
As a Jazz Vibraphonist, James has provided many national and international performances, and workshops, as leader or sideman; notable performances include artists: James Morrison (AUS), Geoffrey Keezer (USA), Jonathan Kreisberg (USA), David Jones and James Muller (AUS) to name a few. As a leader, James has composed, produced and performed on two albums recorded in New York City; BURBANK (2011) and HARD MINCE (2015). Both albums have received international acclaim for their musicality, originality and creativity. HARD MINCE was awarded Best Jazz Album at the 2015 Akademia Music Awards, with a further honourable mention for BURBANK as a Best Jazz Album Finalist. These album currently feature on multiple radio stations in over 13 countries.
"James did a BRILLIANT job on INTO THE WOODS - a complex score, and he nailed it!"
– Tim O'Connor, CEO Harvest Rain Theatre Company, 2015
"The cast was a catalogue of talent - whether that be acting, singing or dancing, James Whiting [was] an excellent Munkustrap"
– Eric Scott, Absolute Theatre Review of CATS 2015
As an educator, James has spent many years as a sought after faculty members at various schools and colleges as a Percussion/Drum Set Tutor, Brass Tutor, Classroom Music specialist, Senior Music and Music Extension clinician, Ensemble director, Performance Music coordinator, and freelance clinician. James is known for his excellence in ensemble direction and performance music coordination, specialising in Percussion Ensemble and Big Band. James has also been engaged as a guest conductor and arranger for Wind Orchestra and Choir. Most notably, James has served as a Jazz Vibraphone Specialist for the Percussive Arts Society Australia Chapter at the Queensland Days of Percussion (2013 - 2015).