James Erickson has an active career teaching classical and rock guitar throughout the New York metropolitan area and Long Island. James is an adjunct instructor of music at Nassau Community College, LIU Post, and Suffolk County Community College , where he teaches music history, theory, fretboard harmony, and is the director of The SCCC Guitar Ensemble. James holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music history and performance from Long Island University , where he was awarded “Outstanding Performance in Guitar Studies”.
As a classical guitar soloist, James has performed on tour in the United States, Europe, and Canada. James has also participated in the Long Island Guitar Festival in both solo and chamber performances. He has also performed in master classes for Jerry Willard, Carlo Domeniconi, Benjamin Verdery, Sharon Isbin, Carlos Barbosa - Lima, David Starobin, William Kanengiser and Eduardo Fernandez. James is a member of Guitar Trilogy, a guitar trio that performs a variety of classical and contemporary repertoire. In 2010 the group released their first CD “Short Stories”, which features the music of Bach, de Falla, Ellington, and Albeniz. The group also recorded the soundtrack for a documentary film on the Italian city of Modena, performing a transcription of Bach’s Italian Concerto. “What audiences can expect from the three-man band known as Guitar Trilogy are flashes of virtuoso musicianship rendering quality classical or folk-inspired music from around the world.” (Southampton Press)
Since 2010, James has been a member of the Artesian Guitar Quartet. The quartet presents highly innovative programs that include a wide variety of music. They have performed at The Dickens Festival, The Art League of Long Island, The Long Island Guitar Festival, The Rensselaerville Historical Society, the Babylon Arts Council, The Steinberg Museum of Art and at the Song D'ete en Musique festival in Quebec, Canada. In September 2013 the quartet did a tour of Quebec with performances for Quebec Rural University, Sainte-Agnes in Lac Megantic and St. Vital in Lambton, Quebec.
As an electric guitarist, his studies have included lessons from jazz guitarist Howard Morgen and rock virtuoso Paul Gilbert. James has an extensive recording and performing experience, and is currently involved in many diverse musical projects. He is the guitarist for Tradewinds, an eleven-piece band that performs at weddings, corporate events and club dates throughout the tri-state area. In 2011, the group was voted “Best LI Cover Band” by the Long Island Press. James also performs with Walking The Line , a musical tribute to Johnny Cash, where he performs the electric guitar parts of Luther Perkins. Recently, James also performed with Classic Albums Live, performing the album "Who's Next"by The Who. James has also performs with several local independent artist/bands including Cylus Wood, Bent Pussycat, and country-pop singer Christine Vaskas. He has opened for many national rock acts including Saigon Kick and Twisted Sister. He has also performed the guitar parts for many theatrical productions including “Hair”, “Anything Goes”, "Camp Rock", "Fiddler on the Roof" and “Seussical”.
Currently, James teaches electric/rock guitar at the Long Island Institute for Guitar Studies, a program of comprehensive guitar instruction at LIU Post. For the past four years, he has taught and performed at the “Songe d’été en Musique” an annual music festival in Quebec, Canada. James has also composed and recorded the soundtrack/score for several local independent films. He is also the assistant director of the Long Island Guitar Festival (liu.edu/gfest) and offers private and online guitar instruction.