Jazz Guitarist James Nichols

James Nichols

Wedding Event at Windansea Beach, La Jolla, June 2013

James Nichols is a versatile guitarist who specializes in playing both as a solo artist and in small ensemble settings. Songs include classics from the golden era of American jazz, jazz standards, Bossa Nova, Latin jazz, and Contemporary sounds. While primarily a jazz player, James is equally at home playing rock and blues.

About James


Fundraising Gala held at private home
Rancho Santa Fe, August 2013

James Nichols is a guitarist/musician and teacher. He grew up in Southern California beach towns, living in Seal Beach as a youngster and later in Del Mar and Solana Beach. James began studying guitar seriously at the age of 14, first playing music professionally while a student at San Diego State University, where he graduated with a degree in English Literature and completed two years of post-graduate studies. Originally a rock player, there was always a strong interest in jazz. Seeing and hearing artists like Joe Pass and Bill Evans in concert were turning points.

He has performed with a wide range of musical groups over the years, from hard rock bands to Christian worship bands. His current musical direction includes both teaching and performing music. He's taught guitar, bass and piano at schools and community centers, conducted week-long music camps, and currently works with a number of talented private students.

James' background includes working for several years with the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition at the University of California at San Diego conducting research; designing, developing and implementing learning programs; and supervising undergraduate students.

James currently plays at events throughout Southern California.

Some of the venues and locations James has performed at include:

  • Kona Kai Club Shelter Island
  • Del Mar Hilton
  • Rancho Santa Fe Country Club
  • La Costa Resort
  • Pfizer La Jolla