James “JD” Dawkins Jr. is an accomplished musician, composer, songwriter, and producer. James was born and raised in Miami Florida where he started is musical journey at a young age. At the tender age of 9 years old he began teaching himself to play the piano and at the age of 13 years old he began taking private piano lessons in Miami. James’s love and deep passion for music further inspired him to join the jazz band at Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School where he served as the lead pianist for the jazz band program. James studied music business and music education at Miami Dade College while also focussing on creative production. James Dawkins plays several different instruments including bass guitar, drums, trumpet, lead guitar, and B3 organ. Dawkins developed his soulful rich sound from influences such as Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Chic Corea, and the Average White Band just to name a few. His unique sound is a combination of Jazz, Soul, R&B and Gospel genres. James Dawkins is credited for having shared the stage and toured nationally with notable artist: Mike Phillips, Robert Glasper, George Tandy Jr, Kat Dahlia, Noel Gordin, Black Street, Dave Hollister, Chico Debarge, Doug E. Fresh, Melton Mustafa, Anthony David, Donald Hayes and many others.
In 2015 he released his debut Smooth Jazz album titled “Smile For Me” which is still in rotation on Smooth Jazz and Contemporary Jazz radio networks across the country/world. When the James Dawkins Band is not touring, he actively serves as the music director for various artists and organizations throughout Los Angeles. He is dedicated to philanthropic initiatives which involve working with youth and young adult students during the summer by giving private lessons and mentoring sessions.