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James Babor has been a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1993. In addition to his performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Babor regularly participates in concerts for the LA Phil’s Green Umbrella Series. His solo engagements have included performing the xylorimba solo in Oliver Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Babor received his Bachelor of Music degree from Texas A&M University and his Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has studied with Richard Weiner, Paul Yancich, Cloyd Duff, and Doug Howard. He has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, and the New World Symphony. He has also been fortunate enough to perform with So Percussion.
Babor has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Telarc, Teldec, and London Records.
In April of 2012, Jim was the featured soloist in Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto during the University of Southern California’s “Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative”.
Babor has given master classes at numerous institutions throughout the U.S. and Canada, including New England Conservatory, Boston College, the University of Miami, the Royal Conservatory, and the San Francisco Conservatory. He has also given clinics at the Annual Percussive Arts International Convention sponsored by the Percussive Arts Society.
James Babor is a Remo Orchestral Artist and an endorser of Pearl/Adams Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, and Freer Percussion Products. He is also on the faculty of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.
Babor is also an active instructor and practitioner of Aikido. He is a Fukushidoin with the United States Aikido Federation and Aikido Hombu Dojo, Japan, and is ranked Sandan (3rd degree black belt). He is also a student in Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido and has been collectively studying both arts for the last 20 years.
Babor is a certified PADI Divermaster and has worked frequently with local dive shops and instructors. He is also a certified Diving Emergency Management Provider through DAN, and he holds certifications with Global Underwater for Cave Diver 2 and Technical Diver 1. He is very active in volunteering his time for Ghostnet removal and project baseline conservation initiatives.