Saxophonist and composer Guillaume Saint-James won his first jazz competition in 1997 at the Jazz Festival of Vannes, France. Since then he has embarked on a career as a composer, soloist and front man for numerous ensembles, including his own ensemble, Jazzarium. Guillaume has performed with major French artists such as Eric La Lann, Emmanuel Bex, Franck Tortiller, Laurent de Wilde, Pierrick Pédron, Franck Aguilhon, Stephane Huchard, Pierre de Bethmann and others.
With Jazzarium, he recorded the highly acclaimed Météo Songs and a recent album entitled Polis that explores the hustle and bustle of urban life. Polis has won accolades from Jazz Magazine: “Revelation”, a “brilliant soloist and improviser,” as well as a “OUI !” from Culture Jazz.
Guillaume’s capacity to shape the sound of his ensembles into an orchestral sonority has won him many commissions for larger ensembles in the last few years. In 2011 he was invited to extend his work Polis into a version for Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra entitled Megapolis. The work was featured on French regional television in the summer of 2012 and was recorded in 2013 with the Orchestre de Bretagne. That recording won the coveted French CHOC! award.
His music has been described as Ellingtonian and visual, conjuring up colors that he transforms into works where humor and sensuality co-exist. In addition to his performance career, Guillaume Saint-James has also written educational pieces that he self-published before they were picked up by the French publisher Fuzeau.
Since 2012, Guillaume has created original projects such as Tatiphone a jazz and video tribute to the French filmmaker Jacques Tati, and Jazz Around the Bunker, a jazz interpretation of the songs of the singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg with Stéphane Boisseau (bass) and Matthieu Donarier (sax). In 2013, Guillaume is scheduled to start a new collaboration with the pianist Omar Sosa. Guillaume founded and, since 2003, has directed the festival “Jazz aux Ecluses” in his home town of Hédé, Brittany.