James Edward Matthews was born in 1943.
James insatiable thirst for music began at an early age of 4.
It all began with James grandmother giving him permission to cross the streets to listen to the Marching band in the school yard at St. Malachy where he attended Kindergarten.
Born in Gloster, MS near Camp Van Dorn where his father was drafted in the military. It’s no question why the love for music was in James’s DNA as James’ mother built a house in Greenville, MS., she also opened a Night Club called “Club Desire” where Milton Campbell, “Little Milton” & Oliver Sain’s father were house band members.
James would later meet Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters and Ike & Tina Turner.
James journey involved him being around some of the great musicians early in life.
When James was about 15 years old his mom became the babysitter for Ike & Tina’s children
(Craig, Ronnie Boo & Ike Jr.) She also baby sat Tina’s sister child Jackie.
James studied at Chicago’s Cosmopolitan School of Music after high school.
Then after college he moved to San Francisco, California.
James later released his first of two singles ‘Crossing the Baha’.
His last single followed shortly after ‘Ironstein’ under the name James Matthews Quartet.
After returning to St. Louis James worked as a touring musician for
Albert “Blue Boy” King, Eddie Fisher, Percy James & Albert St. James of Quartet Tre’s Bien.
James notoriety put him in position to meet some of the legends like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Grover Washington Jr. just to name a few.
Later Holland-Dozier-Holland out of Detroit, MI offered James a recording contract, but the contract was turned down due to James choosing to fulfil a spiritual path.
Tim Moore began to play drums at his church at 12 years of age. It wasn't until late into his senior year of high school that he decided to pursue music in college. He was introduced to jazz while attending Webster University.
Ben Wheeler has been a freelance bass player and teacher for over a decade. Having played in the orchestra and jazz band in high school, Wheeler went on to study classical bass at Truman State University. After his freshmen year, Wheeler joined the group "Swing Cat Swing," a cover band that performed around the St. Louis area during the retro-swing fad of the late 90s. The group performed the theme for Fox 2 News, along with several promotional clips that aired regularly. Wheeler transferred to Webster University to finish his bachelor’s degree and study jazz with bassists Jay Hungerford and Dan Eubanks. His undergraduate experience included a trip to Poland to assist with Webster’s Summer Jazz Academy in Krakow.
After graduating from Webster University, Wheeler began playing with some of the top jazz musicians in St. Louis. His regular gigs included backing the legendary saxophonists Willie Akins and Dave Stone, along with performing with piano virtuoso Ptah Williams. He was a member of the Jeff Lash Trio which got several positive reviews in the Riverfront Times for their jazz interpretations of rock standards. Wheeler also got the opportunity to perform in other cities with jazz guitarist Corey Christiansen (featuring drummer Danny Gottlieb) and the rock band "Perry Went Home."
An opportunity for a teaching assistantship at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and the chance to study with the spectacular bass player Tom Kennedy prompted Wheeler to go to graduate school. He had taught private lessons, but classroom teaching was a new and exciting prospect. It ended up helping him discover an enjoyable “day job” for a musician and an outlet for sharing his love of music with others.
Wheeler currently teaches at St. Louis Community College, Webster University, Washington University and Jefferson College. He continues to work as a freelance bass player, performing concerts with vibraphonist Peter Schlamb, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis and many others. Wheeler is also the proud parent of a two year old daughter, Zooey Simone, who is currently enrolled in toddler music class.