Sgt. First Class Derrick James


What do you enjoy doing off-duty?

I’m working on quartet and quintet projects. I also love animals.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when…

When I went to my sister’s school concert when I was in third grade, one of the saxophone players had a little feature. After hearing that, I knew I wanted to play. Unfortunately, when I got to 4th grade the band teacher asked me what I wanted to play and I could not remember what the instrument was called. So I was stuck playing clarinet for a few months.

A performance highlight:

A Beacon Theater performance called a night of Three Divas, where I performed with Chaka Khan, Donna Summer and Gloria Estefan. During the show, Prince jumped out of the audience onto the stage and performed a few songs with us.

Dream group:

Jimmy Cobb, Cannonball Adderley, Kenny Kirkland, Lee Morgan, Christian McBride

Did you know?

I’m actually taller than I look.  #platformshoes