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A Short Bio:
Trumpet player James P. Dvorak is, despite having played almost exclusively in Europe in the last twenty-five years, is actually an American. Born in Brooklyn, he received private tuition on the trumpet as a teenager, and entered the prestigious Eastman School of Music of New York in 1966, studying there until he gained a Bachelor of Music degree in 1970. At that point he moved to London, immediately establishing himself on the UK jazz scene. He replaced Mark Charig in pianist Keith Tippett's band, staying for a couple of years. Around the same time, he joined Chris MacGregor's ensemble Brotherhood of Breath, which led to several European tours between 1970 and 1975. It was Dvorak's early association with vocalist Maggie Nichols that kick-started his interest in presenting improvised music workshops.
In 1973, he formed Joy with drummer Keith Bailey, a band which lasted for six years but only released one album in 1976 (that same year, they received the Young Jazz Musicians Award). In 1975-76 he was a member of drummer Louis Moholo's band. Between 1977 and 1979, he led Sun Sum, a seventeen piece jazz/dance extravaganza which included Elton Dean, Alan Skidmore, Keith Tippett, Harry Miller and Nick Evans. His next band was Dhyana, between 1980 and 1982. Dvorak's interest in music workshops was taken much further by starting an apprenticeship with the late John Stevens as part of Stevens' much admired Search and Reflect training programme at the Community Music organisation in 1983. Dvorak's work developed even further through six successive years working as a workshop leader in Summer Schools at the Ingolstadt Jazz Stage (Germany), the Vercelli Jazz School (Italy), and the American School in Paris (France).
The 80's found Dvorak playing and recording on the European circuit with bands led by Lol Coxhill (Before Our Time), Geoff Serle (Research), Dudu Pukuwana (Zila), Maggie Nichols (Very Varied), Nick Evans (Dreamtime), Ruthie Smith (Toot Sweet), Brian Abrahams (District Six) and again Keith Tippett in 1985-86. He also ran Club Extremor (London, 1982-1987) for improvised music. More recently, in 1990, he joined Phil Miller's In Cahoots, playing on the albums Live In Japan 1991 (1993), Recent Discoveries (1994), Parallel (1996), Out Of The Blue (2001) and All That (2003), leaving the band in 2004.
Dvorak has arranged music for European and African recording artist Reebop Kwaku Baah, Harry Moscoe, Guest Stars, Stan Sojoka, Annabel Lamb, District Six Big Band, and for the Dedication Orchestra. In 1979, he composed an original score for a jazz drama based on George Orwell's "Animal Farm", and in 1983 co-wrote the score for London's Kosh Dance Theatre Company production "For The Jago". Two commissioned dance pieces for children from Fergus Early's "Green Candle company" saw Dvorak teaming up with Patricia Bardi in providing music and movement for this three year performance/workshop collaberation. He has since gone on to do improvised performances with the London-Based dancers Janice Galloway, Wendy Thomas, and Thomas Kemp.
Dvorak has constantly been involved in presenting jazz workshops all over England, Germany, Italy, and Holland, has led improvising sessions at London's Royal Academy, the Guild Hall School of Music, Jazz Days International, and is currently involved in London's Community Music "Search and Reflect" workshop program. He has also established workshop sessions at Islington Arts Factory and Jazz Days International. Dvorak was taught at Weymouth College, The Royal Academy of Music, and the Guildhall, as well as currently presenting "thematic" workshops : Spirit Music (with Tibetan Monks), and Word Music (with Poetry), at the Union Chapel, London.