James Mustafa

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Tunes by James Mustafa

  • 1.17pm
    Latin · 2010-now · Medium · Instrumental · 4/4
  • Amber Moment
    Ballad · 2010-now · Medium · Instrumental · C · 4/4
  • Moon On A Leash
    Swing · 2010-now · Medium · Vocal · E · 3/4
  • Rush Hour Blues
    Blues · 2010-now · Medium · F · 4/4
  • Soul Dust
    Straight · 2010-now · Medium · Instrumental · C · 6/8
  • The Little Prince
    Ballad · 2010-now · Medium · Instrumental · F#/Gb · 4/4


James Mustafa is a Melbourne based composer, conductor and multi-instrumentalist. He is the founder and leader of the Melbourne Composers Big Band, the sousaphonist of Horns Of Leroy and is the composer/bandleader of the James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra.

James has completed studies at the Generations In Jazz Academy, Adelaide University School of Music and at the Sir Zelman School of Music at Monash University. He has studied composition with Paul Grabowsky, Maria Schneider, Graeme Lyall, Lachlan Davidson, Jordan Murray and Pedro Giraudo. As a musician, James works primarily on trumpet, trombone, and piano but also performs on a variety of woodwinds, brass and other instruments. As a composer, James has worked with a variety of ensembles from around the country and overseas. Highlight projects include arrangements and compositions with Vince Jones (AUS), the Birdland Big Band (USA), the Arendal Big Band (NO), the Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra (AUS), Miles Bonny (USA), the Australian Royal Navy Big Band (AUS), Osunlade (USA), the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (AUS) and others. He has performed in a number of festivals including the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Falls Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, White Night Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival and an assortment of music education conferences. He has also been involved in a variety of films and soundtracks including "Words and Pictures" (2014), "The Menkoff Method" (2014), "Graceful Girls" (2014) and "Magnetism" (2013). 

In 2014, James released his debut album “The Last Sanctuary” with his recently formed “James Mustafa Jazz Orchestra”. The album was released with JazzHead records in November and went on to be featured on ABC Jazz as one of the top picks for 2014 as well as being the international feature album of the week in February 2015. Playing highlights include performances with Maria Schneider, James Morrison, The Idea Of North, Scott Robinson, John Morrison’s Swing City Big Band, George Garzone, Joe Camilleri, Invenio, Gerald Clayton, Kate Ceberano, Ross Irwin and more. He has also worked with musicians and organisations such as Mark Eager (UK), Brett Baker (UK), Gordon Goodwin (USA), the Choral Institute of Melbourne, Melbourne Youth Music, the Melbourne School Bands and Strings Festival and a variety of schools and universities.

His musical director credits include shows like “Chicago” (SA), “RENT” (SA), “Seussical, The Musical” (VIC) and the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (VIC) and was assistant musical director to the Melbourne production of “The Songs Of James Bond” Awards and merits include the 3MBS – “Youth Composer Scholarship”, finalist position in the “Youth Jazz Artist of the Year Award” (2010), Monash University Jazz Prize Scholarship (2014), Australian New Chamber Work Scholarship, New Score Festival and even in the “Local Authors; Creative Writing Competition” (2012). James is also an avid birder who currently holds the world record for the number of bird species seen in a single year within the state of Victoria.