Tales from England

Sam Ratcliffe-D'Arrigo on Pet Life Radio

Sam and her husband Jim, chat about their recent trip to England, and summer safety tips for your dogs.


James holds degrees in music from West Virginia and Northern Illinois Universities. While studying for his Bachelor of Music Degree at WVU he studied with noted classical professor David Hastings and concentrated on classical saxophone performance and teaching.  In this area James is a fourth generation pupil tracing back to the greats of classical saxophone Frederick Hemke, Marcel Mule, and Adolphe Sax.  Having earned a Master of Music Degree at NIU under the instruction of the preeminent Steve Duke, James’ area of study was jazz performance. He was the saxophone studio teaching assistant at NIU where he provided instruction to undergraduate saxophone students where he was the assistant to Steve Duke.

While living in Nashville TN, James performed professionally and had a healthy thriving private studio of forty-five students. He taught beginners through to professionals. His studio produced many top chair saxophonists, clarinetists, and flautists in Tennessee Regional and All State bands.

James’ first professional performance was with his own band Shank Swing and The Divots. They were the top college party band in the Ohio Valley area. His first high-profile gig came at age nineteen with The Temptations, it was not until twenty-five years later that he would find himself regularly performing in Las Vegas with original Temptation singer Dennis Edwards.

Legendary R & B singer Ruth Brown was James’ long time friend and mentor in Las Vegas. He produced her last band before she passed.  Other music performances include Joel Gray, Roy Clark, The Four Tops, The Impressions, Jerry Butler, Cab Calloway Orchestra, Eddie Holman, Billy Hinche, Susan Anton, and Beggars and Thieves.

James is featured in numerous recordings most recently with Star Search winner Mark Otoole and Atlantic Records Beggars and Thieves.

James studies with friend and mentor Gary Herbig, legendary LA soloist and Billboard top recorded rock ‘n’ roll saxophonist.