James Everest

James G. Everest was born and raised in St Paul, Minnesota, USA, and is currently based in the Twin Cities area. He writes and performs music, teaches guitar, dabbles in film/video, and curates and hosts both the Making Music conversations series at the University of Minnesota's Whole Music Club and the Capture! dance film series at the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater.

Everest began playing guitar at age 14 and immediately formed a rock band with childhood friend Bryan Olson (also on guitar) and began writing and singing songs. Their first band together was called The Risk (1986), which was followed by The Wild Eyed (1987), The Sensational Joint Chiefs (1995), Fresh Squeez (1996), Captain Blasted (1998), Lateduster (1999), and The Dijonettes (2001). Everest had also separately formed bands Monkey Suit (1989) with Wild Eyed drummer Craig Branham, and The Kathrines (1990) with Branham and future LOW bassist Zak Sally. In 1991, while studying abroad in London, England, Everest joined British band Stitty Massingbird, featuring Joff Watkins, Jules Pais, and Jon McCavish. In 2002, Andrew Broder left Lateduster to focus on FOG and Bryan Olson moved to San Francisco. Everest then joined the London, UK – based NEOTROPIC from 2002-2004. The experimental/ instrumental chamber music of both Lateduster and Neotropic provided a broad canvas to explore the use of effects and looping pedals to create rich textures and interwoven layers (as did his extensive work with the Catalyst dance company, for which he began composing original scores in 2002). In 2003, he began work on two solo projects, one continuing with instrumental work (SANS LE SYSTEME), the other as a loop-based singer-songwriter (JG EVEREST). In 2004, he self-released his first singer-songwriter record entitled Hush Money, and in 2007 released the follow up, PARADE. In the meantime, he's continued to work with Catalyst, becoming music director in 2005, and joining minneapolis bands Vicious Vicious in 2005 (briefly reuniting with Lateduster & Dijonettes bandmate Martin Dosh) and Mandrew in 2006. After helping friends Roma Di Luna record their first CD, Everest joined their backing band in 2007, along with producer Ben Durrant.

(from 2005)
After years of playing in a wide array of acclaimed bands, (Lateduster, The Sensational Joint Chiefs, Neotropic, Rolex Twinz Fresh Squeez, The Dijonettes, Sans Le Systeme) Everest took a step back to record a batch of personal songs that had previously taken a backseat to his band projects. These 10 “song apologies” come together on his self-released solo debut, entitled HUSH MONEY. Recorded partly in his attic bedroom, HUSH MONEY's sound cuts quirky edges while exuding a deeper warmth through layers of acoustic guitars, pianos, keyboards, swirling bells, vocals, and electronic gurgles. To keep the beats interesting, vintage casio drum machines are affected and mixed with live kits played by Lateduster bandmates Martin Dosh (DOSH) and Andrew Broder (FOG), Neotropic bandmate Tim Glenn (POOR LINE CONDITION, FOG), and friend Ryan Lovan (LIFESTYLE OF WIGS, HALEY BONAR). Other guests include Michael Lewis (Happy Apple, FOG) on upright bass, and Mary Everest on vocals.

Recorded further and mixed with ace engineer Ben Durrant, (Low, Neotropic, Dosh, Lateduster, Andrew Bird) the resulting album brings dark and tender introspection through Everest's catchy sensibilities, drenched in rich textures and punctuated by the dynamic arrangements that have become his trademark.

Everest performs live with an arsenal of effects & looping pedals to tweak his guitars, keyboards, glockenspeil, drum machine, trumpet, and live percussion, all layered together in real time, to create intricate soundscapes for his vocals to weave through. This “one-man-band” approach makes for spirited, challenging performances that grab your attention and keep your toes a-tappin'.

In 2002, Everest's instrumental band Lateduster began collaborating with the Minneapolis-based dance company, Catalyst, and their choreographer, Emily Johnson. After three original scores and a DVD with Lateduster, Johnson commissioned Everest to compose the hour-long score for her evening-length HEAT and LIFE, commissioned by the Walker Art Center, which premiered in Fall of 2004 at The Soap Factory in Minneapolis. HEAT & LIFE has gone on to tour around the USA, with Everest performing live at shows in NYC (2006) Austin, TX (2007), and Chicago (2007). Everest has been music director for Catalyst since 2005 and continues to collaborate with Johnson and perform with Catalyst internationallly.

From 1996-1998, Everest curated a weekly experimental / improv music showcase at The Front bar in northeast Minneapolis, called FREELOADED WEDNESDAYS. The series sreved as home base and melting pot for Minneapolis' burgeoning underground hip-hop/ acid jazz scene including acts Atmosphere, Happy Apple, Casino Royale, The Sensational Joint Chiefs, and Everest's own freestyle pick-up supergroup FRESH SQUEEZ, which featured a semi-regular cast of Everest, Slug, (Atmosphere) Walter Kitundu (MATMOS), Jeremy Ylvisaker (FOG, ALPHA CONSUMER, ANDREW BIRD), Jason Heinrichs (ANOMALY, ROOMSA), Martin Dosh (DOSH, ANDREW BIRD), David Olson, Chris McIntyre and Bryan Olson. FREELOADED was programmed to foster collaborations between traditional musicians and MCs, DJs, and electronic musicians of all styles in a context that allowed for “spontaneous combustion”. One highlight was when Prince showed up and joined in the jam on rhodes. Local DJ and radio host Jennifer Downham became a huge supporter of the new scene and, along with Everest, started a new record label called Groove Garden Records. Groove Garden released the “FREELOADED WEDNESDAYS” complilation in June 1997 to commemorate the 1-Year anniversary of the series. Everest and Downham went on to launch a second weekly series, GROOVE GARDEN SUNDAYS at The Cabooze and later The 400 Bar on Minneapolis' West Bank, which ran from 1997-1998, featuring many of the same bands but on bigger stages with bigger bills and larger audiences. The first Groove Garden Sunday show at The 400 Bar featured DJs Hank Mhoon and Jezus Juice, Atmosphere, and Happy Apple, with a headlining set by The Sensational Joint Chiefs.

In 2001, Everest started a new series invovling projected film and video as a live/ collaborative element with experiemental/ instrumental live music. The new series was called CROSSFADED THURSDAYS and ran from 2001 – 2004 at The Dinkytowner Cafe, and featured the next generation of instrumental groups such as Lateduster, Poor Line Condition, Tiki Obmar, Suki Takahashi, DOSH, Spaghetti Western, OURMINE, Science vs. Flames, GRID, Keston & Westdal and The Dijonettes. Again, to commemorate the 1-year Anniversary of the series, Downham and Everest released “CROSSFADED Vol. 1” in spring of 2002 on Groove Garden/ Firetrunk. A second compliation, “CROSSFADED Vol 2” was released in 2004.

In 2005, Everest began curating and hosting the Making Music conversations series at The Whole Music Club at the University of Minnesota. It was a return to his roots, as he had been a student volunteer at The Whole while attending the University in the early '90s, earning a History degree.. The shows feature live performances and in-depth interviews and demonstrations by many of the brightest lights on the Minneapolis music scene, and beyond.

Also in 2005, Everest teamed with choreographer Emily Johnson to curate and host the Capture! dance film series at The Bryant Lake Bowl Theater in Minneapolis. Featuring live performances and film screenings, Capture! serves as a forum for exploring the ways cameras affect our perception of movement, as well as seeing the work of great film-dance collaborations, with panel discussions and audience Q&A.