James Woodrow trained at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. He is a member of the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, Icebreaker, A Change Of Light and Cathal Coughlan’s Grand Necropolitan Quartet. He also gives numerous regular performances as soloist and ensemble player with the London Chamber Symphony, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, London Sinfonietta, BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Singers and The New London Chamber Choir.
James has worked with a number of contemporary dance companies, including Richard Alston, London Contemporary Dance, Rambert, Phoenix Dance Company, Siobhan Davies, Shobana Jeyasingh, Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet. And also from 1999 until it’s close in December 2011 the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, performing Gavin Bryars' Bi-ped, but also working with Takehisa Kosugi, Christian Wolff and many other composers in improvisation. His playing is included in the final Cunnigham Company archive CD set of improvised music performances.
Recent performances have included solo performances and radio broadcasts with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a performance of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint with Richard Alston, and also with Royal Ballet, at Covent Garden, a solo guitar and mandolin performance of music by Denis Gaultier and Jo Kondo for Richard Alston, a performance of music by Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe for Concerto Cologne and the Basel Sinfonietta, a performance of the opera Facing Goya by Michael Nyman, and a concerto performance for Icebreaker with The American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
James also plays with a number of jazz ensembles, including his own quartet CandyTime with whom he has recorded two CD’s.
As a session musician James has contributed guitar to many recordings (Sophie Ellis Bexter, Mel C, Cathal Coughlan) and is a featured guitarist on several films including scores by Lalo Schrifrin and James Horner.
His own project, Kammermusik, with whom he gives regular recitals and arranges repertoire, was formed as a chamber music and solo project in order to explore a particular and unique aspect of existing and contemporary repertoire.