Dr. James Romain serves as Professor of Saxophone and Associate Director of Jazz Studies at Drake University in Des Moines, IA. Active regionally, nationally, and internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, clinician, and jazz/commercial performer, he embraces diverse genres of music. Dr. Romain actively contributes to the growing body of compositions and pedagogical literature for the instrument through his pursuit of commissions, recording projects, and published articles.
As an orchestral saxophonist, James Romain performs regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra, including a performance of Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto in August of 2010 at London’s Royal Albert Hall on the BBC Proms series, and performances of Darius Milhaud’s La Création du Monde in 2011. Dr. Romain is also the first-call saxophonist of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has performed with the Wyoming Symphony, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the Champaign-Urbana and University of Illinois Orchestras.
Dr. Romain has been an invited performer at the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th World Saxophone Congresses, where he has presented premieres of solo and chamber works. In 2012, at the 16th World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland, Romain presented European Premiere performances of Will Campbell's One for Four and Tyler Gilmore's Homage to Bela Bartok with The New Third Stream, and gave a performance of Dvořák's American Quartet No. 12, Op. 96, with Oasis Quartet. At the 15th World Saxophone Congress, held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2009, Dr. Romain presented the Asian premiere of Eric McIntyre’s Secondary Impressions for Baritone Saxophone and Piano, and presented two works for jazz saxophone quartet as a member of The New Third Stream. In 2006, at the 14th World Saxophone Congress in Ljubljana, Slovenia, he gave the European premieres of Mark Engebretson's SaxMax, and of Bill Dougherty's Howl. In July of 2003, Dr. Romain premiered a new sonata by Chinese composer Jian-Jun He at the 13th World Saxophone Congress.
In May and June of 2014, Romain traveled to Beijing and Chongqing, China, for ten days of teaching, observing, and performing at Minzu and Chongqing Normal Universities. In May of 2007, he joined his Drake colleagues in Mexico City as Artist in Residence at the 1a Academia de Mùsica 2007. They presented daily master classes at the Escuela de Musica Vida Y Movimiento at the Centro Cultural Ollin Yoliztli, and participated in daily rehearsals at the Instituto de Humanidades Y Ciencias (INHUMYC). Dr. Romain has appeared as a performer or clinician at Iowa Bandmaster’s Association, College Band Directors National Association North Central Division, and Texas Music Educator’s Association conferences.
James Romain is an active chamber musician. He is currently the baritone saxophonist with the Oasis Quartet, also featuring Dr. Nathan Nabb from Stephen F. Austin State University, Dr. James Bunte from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Dr. David Camwell from Simpson College.
As a jazz saxophonist, Romain is the lead alto saxophonist of the Des Moines Big Band, and the baritone saxophonist with the New Third Stream Quartet. He has also performed with Clark Terry, Ron Miles, Eric Gunnison, and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Dr. Romain is active as a jazz performer and educator, appearing regularly with the Des Moines Big Band, Turner Center Jazz Orchestra, and with a variety of jazz small groups. As an in-demand doubler (saxophones, flutes, clarinets), he regularly perform in pit orchestras for touring productions at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, and with entertainers such as Johnny Mathis, Idina Menzel, and Ben Folds at venues including Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall. Romain is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 75.