Air date: November 24, 2021
On this episode of Eclectic Soundtrax, hosts Victor Ramos and Skunk Manhattan chat with virtuoso violinist, composer, producer, songwriter, arranger and conductor, James Desautels.
From concert halls and music festivals to small clubs and intimate recording studios, “Jamie” has performed in 37 countries across five continents over a career spanning more than 20 years.
Born in Calgary, Canada, Jamie began studying classical violin at age 5 and, within two years, was also studying fiddle, country and bluegrass music. As a teenager, he toured playing classical and fiddle music, and, after achieving a Music Performance Diploma from Mount Royal University Conservatory at age 19 and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Calgary at age 21, Jamie moved to the United States to attend the University of Arizona where he received his Masters. Soon after, he relocated to obtain a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Texas. He resided in Austin for 17 years while working and touring as a professional musician.
Jamie first gained international attention when he was invited to tour as a violinist with David Byrne and Tosca Strings. Since then, he has worked with Arcade Fire, Austin Pops Orchestra, Marcia Ball, Garth Brooks, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Natalie Cole, Elvis Costello, Christopher Cross, Diana Krall, Ray LaMontagne, Yo-Yo Ma, Bobby McFerrin, Don McLean, Willie Nelson, Jeffrey Osborne, Luciano Pavarotti, Pearl Jam, Itzhak Perlman, Ray Price, Bruce Robison, San Antonio Symphony, Doc Severinsen, Frank Sinatra Jr., The Temptations, Vast and countless other artists. He is the solo violinist on the soundtrack to the Hollywood movie Badland, the first violinist on the soundtrack for the series finale episode of The Office and a violinist on the soundtrack for Terence Malick’s film To the Wonder. Jamie has taught master classes in Jinan, China and Xian, as well as recording music for Audium/Koch, Blue Rock, Disney, Microsoft, Nonesuch, Virgin Classics, Vitamin and Warner Music Group.
Currently residing in Canada, Jamie has shifted his focus to politics in recent years and even decided to run for mayor in his hometown of Calgary in 2021.
About the podcasters
Skunk is a musician, primarily known as the frontman and guitarist for eclectic heavy-rock band A Good Rogering. Since moving to Austin in 2004, he has recorded and performed with a wide variety of bands and solo artists over a career spanning more than 20 years and has shared the stage with notable acts, such as Skid Row, Marty Friedman, Uli Jon Roth, George Lynch and Metal Church among others. Skunk not only works as a performing musician and recording artist, but also as a producer and music teacher. With two decades of insight into what it means to be a professional musician and a passion for not only music, but comedy and general chatter, Skunk was quick to jump at the opportunity to co-host a podcast with longtime friend, Victor Ramos.
A Texas native, Victor’s early musical influences are a mixture of classic rock albums played by his Vietnam vet father and a whole lot of ‘the Fab Four’ via his Beatles-loving mother. Sprinkle in some classic country and Motown, and you have a man that would say “¿que?” when other Tejanos would ask what his favorite cumbia was. After a stint in the Marines, Victor moved to Austin in 2000 and began working in the tech industry. He met Skunk in a Spanish class in 2005 and the two discovered a shared passion for not only beer, but music. After years of collectively attending concerts and talking music, the idea to start a podcast centering around such topics seemed like a logical endeavor.
Photography by Helena Payton Tallon