Photo from a Yamaha Instrument advertisement (2008)
Duh-Suite for two tubas and percussion
Jim Self Interview by Michael Davis (Bone2Pick)
Jim Self with the Hollywood Ensemble
1997 ITEC Program Photo
Jim Self is a Los Angeles free-lance musician. Since 1974, he has worked for all the major Hollywood studios performing for over 1400 motion pictures and hundreds of television shows and records. His solos in major films include John William’s scores to Jurassic Park, Home Alone I and II, Hook and was the “Voice of the Mothership” from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Other solos can be heard in James Horner’s Casper and Batteries Not Included, Marc Shaiman’s Sleepless in Seattle and in Jerry Goldsmith’s score to Dennis the Menace. Recent films include Spiderwick Chronicles, I am Legend, Wall-E, Troy, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, Robots, Lemony Snicket, The Legend of Zorro, War of the Worlds, King Kong, The Happening, Horton Hears a Who and Indiana Jones 4.
Cassandra Wilson, Claus German, Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Maynard Ferguson, Randy Newman, Bette Midler, Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Don Ellis, the L.A. Philharmonic, L.A. Opera, Pasadena and Pacific Symphonies, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra are among the many artists and groups with whom he has recorded. He holds principal tuba positions with the Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and principal tuba/cimbasso in the Los Angeles Opera and Opera Pacific orchestras.
Self was three times voted the Most Valuable Player Award for Tuba by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and named Emeritus winner in 1987. Jim was the string bass and tuba player with Jon Hendricks in his long running L.A. production of “Evolution of the Blues”. In 1983, he produced his first album - Children at Play. It features jazz tuba and harmonica and has received world-wide acclaim. It was chosen by High Fidelity magazine as one of the top ten jazz albums of that year. A second recording. New Stuff (fusion jazz), was released in 1988 on compact disc. Both are on the Discovery - Trend label. His third recording, Tricky Lix, was released in 1990 on the Concord Jazz label featuring jazz greats Gary Foster and Warren Luening. In 1992, an all “classical” C.D. Changing Colors came out on the Summit label. A jazz C.D., The Basset Hound Blues, with Pete Christlieb was released on d’Note Records in 1997. In 1999, a second “classical” recording The Big Stretch came out on Basset Hound Records. It features original compositions by Jim and others. That was followed by a CD of folk songs entitled My America with arrangements of American songs by Kim Scharnberg. Jim is assisted by a great band of L.A. studio musicians and plays his new horn - the FLUBA. Then Jim recorded a be-bop CD called Size Matters with great Tennessee tenor man, Bill Scarlett. Just released is a jazz and strings CD featuring Gary Foster, Pete Christlieb and Dan Higgins. It’s title InnerPlay. Returning to his roots, Jim and harmonica virtuoso, Ron Kalina, just released a new be-bop CD called The Odd Couple. All of Jim Self’s recordings and compositions are available from www.bassethoundmusic.com.
Jim is a Past President of I.T.E.A., was on the faculty of the University of Tennessee, and is a former member of The United States Army Band, Washington, D.C. Born in 1943 in Franklin, Pennsylvania, (raised in nearby Oil City), he holds degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Catholic University and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California where he is Adjunct Professor of tuba and chamber music. In the summers he teaches students at the Music Academy of the West Henry and (formerly) at the Mancini Institute and the Hamamatsu Wind Festival and Academy in Japan. His primary tuba teachers were William Becker, Harvey Phillips, and Tommy Johnson. Jim has also been the leader of TubaChristmas in Los Angeles since it’s beginning in 1976. In March 2003, Jim was given a Distinguished Alumni Award by Indiana University of Pennsylvania - a university wide honor only given to 290 of the more than 100,000 graduates. In June 2008, Jim will be given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Tuba-Euphonium Association at the Cincinnati-Conserviatory of Music.
Besides his work as a tubist, Self maintains an active doubling career performing on bass trombone, cimbasso, contra-bass trombone, and (rarely now) string and electric basses and the Steiner EVI (electronic valve instrument). His latest new instrument is the FLUBA - an original design (picture a tuba-sized flugelhorn horn). It is very unique and is a great solo instrument. Jim is the author of the chapter, “Doubling for Tubists”, in the Tuba Source Book. His hobby is flying his 1973 Piper Arrow for fun and sometimes to gigs.
Jim Self is also a published composer and arranger. He has about 35 titles for brass, string and woodwind chamber music, works for band, orchestra, solo tuba and trombone. The Pacific Symphony recently commissioned him to write a feature work for the orchestra called Tour de Force. The 13 minute piece will be premiered at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Hall in Orange County, April 17-20, 2008.
As a solo artist Self performs regularly world-wide. His concerts and clinics present an interesting blend of classical and jazz music and represent a wide spectrum of his many experiences as a performer, composer and teacher.
-2008 International Tuba Euphonium Conference Program
Jim Self (USA). He is a Los Angeles free-lance musician, since 1974 working for all the major Hollywood studios performing for nearly 800 motion pictures and hundreds of television shows and records. His solos in major films include John William’s scores to Jurassic Park, Home Alone I and II, Hook and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Other solos can be heard in Casper, Batteries Not Included, Sleepless in Seattle and Dennis the Menace. Jim has recorded with a variety of internationally renowned artists, and holds principal tuba positions with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Opera Pacific and American Ballet Theater/Los Angeles.
Self has received the Most Valuable Player Award for Tuba by NARAS three times and was named Emeritus winner in 1987. In 1983, he produced his first album, the Jim Self Quintet, Children at Play featuring jazz tuba and harmonica, which was chosen by High Fidelity magazine as one of the top ten jazz albums of that year. A second recording, New Stuff, was released in 1988 and both are on the Discovery/Trend label. His other solo recordings include a jazz CD Tricky Lix (Concord), a classical CD Changing Colors (Summit) and The Basset Hound Blues with Pete Christlieb (D’Note).
Jim is a past president of T.U.B.A., was on the faculty of the University of Tennessee, and is a former member of The United States Army Band, Washington, D.C. He holds degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Catholic University and a doctorate from the University of Southern California where he teaches tuba and chamber music. His primary tuba teachers were William Becker, Harvey Phillips and Tommy Johnson. Besides his work as a tubist, Self maintains an active doubling career performing on bass trombone, contra-bass trombone, cimbasso, string and electric basses and the Steiner EVI (electronic valve instrument). Jim is also a very active composer and arranger. His hobby is flying his 1973 Piper Arrow for fun and to gigs. As a solo Artist Jim performs regularly in North America, Japan, and Europe. Jim Self is a Yamaha Performing Artist.
-1997 International Tuba Euphonium Conference Program
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