James Sandon

  • Bachelor of Music Jazz Performance
  • Associate Diploma Performing Arts Jazz and Contemporary

Currently - lecturer in Saxophone, Improvisation at Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University.


James Sandon was born into a family of professional musicians in Perth, Western Australia 1976. He started playing the drums and the alto saxophone at the age of six, switched to the tenor saxophone at thirteen, and since then has been playing saxophone, drums, congas, guitar and bass professionally in a variety of genres, that include cabaret, rock, pop, blues, soul, R&B, latin, and jazz.

Attending the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, at Edith Cowan University, James received an Associate Diploma of Performing Arts in Jazz and Contemporary Music (1995) and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance (1998). 


• Belmont High School music scholarship
• Member of the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) at fifteen from 1992 – 1998
• Bridgetown Blues Festival “Most Outstanding Young Talent”
• 1995, received the WAYJO scholarship to attend and participate in the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference, held in Atlanta, Georgia USA in 1996.
• James won the Bob Wylie Jazz scholarship for Graduating students in 1995 in his second year of his diploma competing against final year Bachelor students. 

• Finalist in the 2009 National Jazz Awards for saxophone held at the Wangarratta Jazz Festival in Victoria.


James has performed internationally in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Hawaii, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, New Zealand, and all major capital cities of Australia. 

James has made several television appearances including Good Morning Australia, where he was featured regularly, and other appearances in Melbourne and Perth.

Professional history includes key performances playing / recording saxophone and percussion with international and national artists, Billy Cobham, Chris Potter, Ernie Watts, Frank Foster, Billy Harper, Soulive, Eric Kraznow, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Sam Yahel, Gil Askey, James Morrison, Barney Mcall, Graeme Lyall, Dr. Tony Gould, Diesel – Mark Lizotte, Jon Stevens, Renee Geyer, Ross Wilson, and Christine Anu.

The stand-out drum kit performances include Jon Stevens – Noiseworks, Howie Morgan, Fred Grigson, Trevor Jalla, and works regularly, three to six gigs a week, in major venues and festivals in and around Perth, such as The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth Jazz Society, Fremantle Jazz Society, Perth Blues Club and venues and festivals in Broome, Esperence, Margeret River and across WA.

James also guests on congas with Perth’s leading salsa band Descarga, as well as giving workshops on congas, saxophone and drums.

Has played support gigs for Stevie Wonder, Simply Red, Kate Cebrano, Diesel – Mark Lizotte, Ross Wilson, Jon Stevens, Wendy Matthews, Human Nature and Mark Seymour.


• Three live to air broadcasts for the ABC.
• The Graeme Lyall Quintet
• “Three Tenors” (‘tenor’ saxophones)- James Sandon, Jamie Oehlers, and Carl Mackey 1997
• James Sandon Quartet in 1999 performing original music.

Appeared on a number of CDs playing saxophone and various percussion some of which are:

• Saturday Street - Wayne Jones 2009 Melbourne 

• Jahrukus – 2007 Melbourne 

• Forgotten Melody – Wayne Jones 2006 Melbourne

• Crazy Way of Lovin’ – Nina Ferro 2004 Melbourne

• Soul Call – Nnenna Freelon, 2000 New York (album was nominated for a Grammy)
• Bluezone – Fred Grigson 1997 Perth.

Currently in the concept stage of writing and recording a solo album playing all the instruments himself.


Formerly a lecturer in Improvisation at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University with a music program attracting students nationally and internationally.
James is currently a lecturer in saxophone, drums, and improvisation at the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University.

Details last updated: February 12, 2024