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James Arben's musical career spans an extensive and diverse range of collaborations and performances. For the last 12 years James has been the Musical Director for the seminal Ethiopian musician Dr Mulatu Astake and this role has given him many opportunities to perform at a high level all over the world. 


His passion is for music and this has also led him to work with a large number of diverse artists including The Heliocentrics, the late, great percussionist Robin Jones, Robert Plant, The O Jays, Molotov JukeBox, Family Atlantica, The Hackney Colliery Band, The London Vocal Project, Collocuter, The London Concert Choir as a guest soloist, Down to the Bone, Mary Wilson (the Supremes), Brazillian artist Criolo, The Gaslamp Killer, Alex Kapranos, The Black Jesus Experience, Talib Kweli, Steve Waterman, David Okumu, Seb Rochford, Tom Herbert, Steve Nieve, Camille O’Sullivan, Jolie Holland, Terry Edwards , Roy Hemmings (the Drifters), The Spike Orchestra, , Sam Amidon and Jason Lindner.

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James has recorded as a session player for producers Tony Visconti, Nathan Jenkins (Bullion) and David Axlerod. He is credited on albums by the St Etienne, The Heliocentrics, The Kooks, Maxi Priest, Westerman, Ben Howard, Jim Stapley, Molotov JukeBox, Mulatu Astatke, Family Atlantica, Danny Keane, The Hackney Colliery Band, Down to the Bone and Jake Ferguson (The Brkn Record). 

James is available for online sessions. If you have a project in which you need soprano, alto, tenor or baritone saxophones, flute, oboe, bass clarinet, clarinet, keyboards or vocals then please get in contact at

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