James Hammel is a guitarist and singer performing many upbeat jazz standards, deep blues and pop songs. His song list includes songs popularized by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Nat King Cole, Michael Buble, Bobby Caldwell, Diana Krall, Jobim, James Taylor, Sting, Leon Russell, Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder, and many others. James has a smooth voice and excellent guitar skills. He has performed at marquis venues including the US Open Tennis Championships (NY), The Metropolitan Room (NY), Biltmore Estate (Asheville) and the Omni Grove Park Inn (Asheville). James Hammel & Friends, are available as a duo, trio or quartet adding sax, percussion, drums, bass, piano and more.
James Hammel & Friends were perfect for what we needed. The music selection was ideal, and the quality of the group was exceptional.
James & Friends were great! Several guests said it was the best rehearsal dinner they've ever attended. James and the guys played a huge part in making my party such a success! I would absolutely book them again and again if I lived in the area! Thank you for helping to make the evening one I'll always remember! (I hope my two pictures uploaded)
Response from James Hammel & Friends:
Thank you so much, Debbie!
James Hammel & Friends played for our local wedding reception and we could not have picked a more perfect band for the occasion. They are very talented musicians and were extremely professional throughout the evening. I would highly recommend James Hammel & Friends.
We loved James!!! He was absolutely amazing and flexible. Thank you for a fantastic welcome party.
Everything was perfect!
Response from James Hammel & Friends:
Thank you, Angela! It was a beautiful evening at your house snd your guests weee wonderful. Happy birthday to David!
James and his friends performed at our company Christmas party. They looked and sounded amazing! James offered some wonderful recommendations to improve the quality of the music and work with the spirit and energy of the event. 10/10, will GLADLY book again!
If you like Jazzy Pop style music, you'll really like James. Played a good mix of music. Really an excellent guitarist and vocalist. I thought his sound live was even better than the recording on his website. He played a Birthday party for us, and was engaged with the group throughout his set. James played a couple that he wrote as well, which were really good too. After the party, he took a little time to mingle with the group as well. Very nice performance and very personable. I highly recommend.
Response from James Hammel & Friends:
Thank you for the wonderful review, Phillip. I truly enjoyed playing and singing for Noel, you and the other guests. It was great to hang with you at end as well.
Best regards and Haply Holidays!
First time meeting James , delightful and extremely talented .. we had a small gathering for my birthday 🥳.. his song choices were excellent and he respectfully played perfectly so you can enjoy his music and still have conversations with your guests ..just a delightful evening all in all .. I am definitely booking him for our next event !!
Great job James !!!’ 😊
James Hammel & Friends are the most perfect band for any occasion! They played at our wedding. Their jazzy, funky, contemporary vibe was timeless. Every age group could relate. All the band members were professional and kind and incredibly talented. We will hire them again and again for future entertainment and always recommended them. They are worth their weight in gold—hands down! So incredibly pleased!
We will be booking James again! Wonderful
James did a amazing job
James was such a hit at my dad’s birthday party - he played a variety of different types of music from Blues to Jazz to Pop. Incredibly talented. Thank you, James!
Response from James Hammel & Friends:
Thank you for the rating. I truly enjoyed meeting your family and friends and thank you for having me perform.
James was so easy to work with and his sound was PERFECT for our small corporate event. He received rave reviews from the guests before the party was even over! I highly recommend James and hope we have an opportunity to hear his whole ensemble in the future.
Response from James Hammel & Friends:
Thank you for having me, Alison. It was a wonderful evening. Thank you for y our kind words as well. Hope to see you soon. ~James
James has a wonderful voice and does a great job with the guitar!
We are so pleased. It just couldn't have been any better! He has such a lovely voice. James is very low maintenance and made it so easy to plan and coordinate the event. We highly recommend him without any reservations.
On time, professional, easy to work with and hit the right chord with our audience. Would use again!
James was professional, showed up on time and our members really seemed to enjoy his music. He communicated in a timely fashion and reached out to confirm the event. We look forward to having him back!
It was a great night, and we did enjoy James performance.
What to Expect
James Hammel (and James Hammel & Friends) are true professionals and excel at meeting the needs of each of our clients. Our song list includes a very diverse music list including jazz standards from the Great American Song book, Latin standards, pop, blues, and rock (see our Song List). With over 200 songs, we can easily customize our song list for the client and give them exactly what they need, regardless of genre). Each performance hour includes about 15 songs so we have enough music for many hours. The priority is always laying out a song list and customize it to the needs of the client.
We can perform as background music, or have us choreograph our performance to engage the audience thought the event. We even do thematic shows such as a Sinatra focused song list, jazz only, pop only, or a Latin-focused show. We have a Holiday Xmas book as well.
While James usually performs with a beautifully sounding electric guitar, he can add/mix in acoustic steel-string guitar and/or even nylon string guitar. Again, we strive to meet the clients needs and choreograph the gig accordingly.
The performance can range from 1 song for a ceremony to hours for songs for en extended event. We do customize events and learn specific songs requested by the client. Generally, there is an extra charge for creating arrangements ($150 to $200 per song).
We supply a backline that includes all amps, PA (if needed), microphones, music and mic stands, cabling, song books and more. We require AC power for our equipment. The space we occupy is based on the size of the group (solo, duo, trio, quartet, etc.). We do not have lighting systems or other equipment that is designed to make shows unique (fog machines, etc.). We can supply a sound man and board if needed (for larger events) for a fee. Threatening weather conditions like lightning, thunder storms, rain, snow always have an impact on our show setup and we cannot allow instruments or electric equipment to get wet.
We do not allow members of the client's audience to use any instruments. We are completely fine if the client wants to use our microphone(s) during the event for announcements. We are also fine if a client has a vocalist who might sing a song or two. If they have a musician that wants to perform they must bring their own instruments and gear. We can't allow people who have consumed alcohol to be on the stage at any time.
We arrive for solo gig setup is at least 1/2 hour before the gig commences. For duo, trio quartet, or other band formats, we require at least 1 hour and prefer 1 1/2 hours, especially when a drummer needs to setup.
We take breaks on the hour and will take 10-15 minutes for each break. We appreciate, if the client is serving food, that the musicians can have a meal.
About James Hammel Singer Songwriter and Guitarist
Some musicians are born with stories to tell. James Hammel has performed his songs at The Metropolitan Room, a renowned NYC jazz and cabaret club, and The Bitter End, one of the top pop songwriter venues worldwide, and even the US Open Tennis Championships. A student of the jazz guitar great, Sal Salvador, Hammel has spent decades honing his voice and guitar work.
James’ music is a soulful, jazz-inspired mix of singing and guitar filled with great energy and expression! His music is a mix of jazz, pop, blues, rock and originals. Fans of James' vocal sound, style, and interpretation say his voice captures Sting's sensitivity, the class and touch of Michael Buble, the cleverness of Michael Franks, the innocence of Chet Baker, and the playfulness of John Pizzarelli.
James performs solo or with a duo, trio or a full band (up to 8 pieces). Much of the feel of his shows include wonderfully arranged jazz standards, pop and blues, and beautiful originals.
As a songwriter, James was a finalist in the Great American Song Contest and has an original song charted on Billboard's Top 500.
James lives in Back Mountain, NC (near Asheville) and performs regularly in the area. He plays at Asheville at venues such as ISIS, The Altamont Theater, Biltmore Estate, Omini Grove Park Inn, The Classic Wineseller, and at select Private Events.
From --Roy Sander, Critic and Columnist (formerly of Back Stage and Citysearch):
"On stage, James Hammel is at once completely natural and artfully focused, a rare combination. He gets to the core of each song with easy grace and understated eloquence."
He is frequently ranked the #1 or #2 jazz musician in the Asheville area by Reverbnation.
Please also visit our website.
Additional Booking Notes
Each gig us unique and has its own requirements and we customize our musical performance based ont he clients needs.
We do not supply lighting or other unique performance gear such as fog systems, bubble makers, etc.
Past Booked Events
|June 18, 2023 • 5:00pm - 8:00pm||Dinner Party|
|January 26, 2023 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm||Corporate Event|
|November 04, 2022 • 8:00pm - 10:00pm||Rehearsal Dinner|
|October 01, 2022 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm||Cocktail Party|
|September 26, 2022 • 5:30pm - 7:30pm||Birthday Party|
|June 11, 2022 • 6:00pm - 11:00pm||Wedding Reception|
|December 10, 2021 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Christmas Party|
|November 20, 2021 • 2:30pm - 4:30pm||Birthday Party|
|October 15, 2021 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm||Rehearsal Dinner|
|August 04, 2021 • 5:30pm - 7:30pm||Birthday Party|
|July 02, 2021 • 6:00pm - 8:00pm||Rehearsal Dinner|
|March 19, 2021 • 6:00pm - 10:00pm||Dinner Party|
|July 26, 2020 • 5:30pm - 11:00pm||Wedding Reception|
|July 04, 2020 • 6:00pm - 8:00pm||Personal Occasion|
|February 22, 2020 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm||Corporate Event|
|December 14, 2019 • 8:00pm - 10:00pm||Birthday Party|
|October 17, 2019 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm||Corporate Event|
|September 14, 2019 • 2:30pm - 4:30pm||Wedding Ceremony|
|June 01, 2019 • 3:00pm - 3:30pm||Festival|
|May 25, 2019 • 4:00pm - 7:00pm||Wedding Reception|
|May 16, 2019 • 6:00pm - 8:00pm||Corporate Event|
|November 02, 2018 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm||Dinner Party|
|October 06, 2018 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm||Wedding Cocktail Hour|
|June 23, 2018 • 6:00pm - 9:30pm||Wedding Reception|
|May 25, 2018 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm||Rehearsal Dinner|
|November 11, 2017 • 6:30pm - 7:15pm||Birthday (Adult)|
TITLE, STYLE, ARTIST/SINGER
A Wink and A Smile (Sleepless In Seattle movie) - Swing - Harry Connick Jr
All of Me, Swing, Tony Bennett
All or Nothing At All - Latin, Sinatra
Almost Like Being in Love, Swing, Nat King Cole
Autumn Leaves, jazz Standard
Beyond the Sea, Swing, Bobby Darin
Black Orpheus, Latin jazz standard
Come Fly With Me, Swing, Sinatra/Buble
Come Rain or Come Shine, Blues, Sinatra
Desafinado, Latin, Jobim
Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Swing, Nat King Cole
Easy To Love, Latin, Sinatra
Feeling Good, Blues, Buble/Nina Simone
Fly Me To The Moon, Latin, Bennett/Sinatra
Georgia On My Mind, Ballad, Ray Charles
The Girl From Ipanema, Latin, Jobim
Give Me The Simple Life, Swing, Jazz Standard
I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Swing, Standard
I Can't Give You Anything But Love/Here's That Rainy Day (medley)
I Get A Kick Out of You, Swing, Sinatra
I Thought About You, Swing, Jazz Standard
I'm Beginning to See the Light, Sing, Duke Ellington/Buble
I'm Glad There Is You, Ballad, Jazz Standard
I've Got You Under My Skin, Latin, Sinatra/Buble/Krall
It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Swing, Bennett
It Had to Be You, Swing, Harry Connick Jr
I've Got The World On A String, Swing, Sinatra/Bobby Caldwell
Just A Gigolo/Ain't Got Nobody, Swing, Louis Prima
Lost Mind, Blues, Percy Mayfield
Love Is Here To Stay, Swing, Sinatra
Love Is The Tender Trap, Swing, Sinatra
Meditation, Latin, Jobim
Misty, Ballad, Jazz Standard
My Foolish Heart, Balled, Bennett
My One and Only Love, Balld, Sinatra
My Romance, Ballad, Jazz Standard
Night and Day, Latin, Sinatra/Fitzgerald
On A Clear Day, Latin, Jazz Standard
Over The Rainbow, Ballad, Jazz Standard
Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars, Latin, Jobim
Route 66, Swing, Nat King Cole
She Walks This Earth, Latin, Ivan Lins
So Nice (Summer Samba), Latin, Latin Jazz Standard
Stardust, Ballad, Hoagy Charmichael
Straighten Up and Fly Right, Swing, Nat King Cole
Stuck On You, Swing, Bobby Caldwell
Summerwind, Swing, SInatra
Sweet Lorraine, Swing, Nat King Cole
That's All, Swing, Torme
The Island, Latin, Ivan Lins
The More I See You, Swing, Buble
The Nearness of You, Ballad, Norah Jones
The Sweetest Sounds, Latin, Andy Williams
The Way You Look Tonight, Latin, Sinatra/Buble
The Windmills of Your Mind, Latin, Jazz Standard (Sting)
They Can't Take That Away From Me, Swing, Bennett
Watch What Happens, Latin, Jazz Standard
Wave, Latin, Jobim
What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life, Ballad, Jazz Standard
When I Take My Sugar to Tea, Swing, Sinatra/Pizzarelli
When I Take My Sugar To Tea/Crazy Little Thing Called Love (medley)
You Don't Know What Love Is, Blues, George Benson
You Go To My Head, Latin, Sinatra
You Stepped Out of A Dream, Swing, Pizzarelli
POP, BLUES, ROCK
TITLE, STYLE, ARTIST
A Song For You, Blues, Ray Charles
Ain't No Sunshine, Pop, Billy Withers
Antonio's Song, Pop Latin, Michael Franks
Carolina On My Mind, Pop, James Taylor
Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Rock, Queen
Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight, Pop, James Taylor
Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing, Latin R&B, Stevie Wonder
Down In Brazil, Latin Pop, Michael Franks
Dr Wu, Rock, Steely Dan
Every Breath You Take, Rock, The Police
Everything, Pop, Michael Buble
Fields of Gold, Pop, Sting
Fire & Rain, Pop, James Taylor
Golden Lady, R&B, Stevie Wonder
Haven't We Met, Pop, Torme/Kenny Rankin
Help From My Friends, Rock, Beatles
Home, Pop Ballad, Michael Buble
If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, Rock, Sting
Let It Be, Rock Ballad, Beatles
Mad Without Her, Sad Without Her, How Can I Be Glad Without Her Blues, Old Time Blues
Moondance, Pop, Van Morrison
NY State of Mind, Rock, Billy Joel
Popsicle Toes, Pop, Michael Franks
Save the Last Dance, R&B, The Drifters
She Walks This Earth, Latin Pop, Ivan Lins
Spain/Fragile, Pop, Sting
Stuck on You, Pop, Bobby Caldwell
Sunday Morning, Pop, Maroon 5
Sunshine of My Life, R&B, Stevie Wonder
The Shape of My Heart, Pop, Sting
To Make You Feel My Love, Pop Ballad, Dylan/Adele
Walking On the Moon, Rock, The Police
With A Little Help From My Friends, Rock, Beatles
What You Won't Do For Love, Pop, Bobby Caldwell
You And I, Pop Ballad, Stevie Wonder
You Are The Sunshine of My Life, R&B, Stevie Wonder
You've Got A Friend, Pop, James Taylor
Your Smiling Face, Pop, James Taylor
JAMES HAMMEL - NOTABLE ORIGINAL SONGS
Anything, Any Day, Anytime
Baby It's You
Call My Name
Do It All Over Again
Heaven Only Knows
Helplessly Here for You
Holding My Heart
Letter From My Love
Set The Children Free Snowflake
Why Am I So Blue
Why Do I Dream
You Are The One
|James Hammel||Band Leader, Guitarist and Singer|
|Bass Player||Electric and upright (or both)|
|Piano Player||Keyboards or piano (supplied by client)|
|Percussionist||African and Peruvian Percussion|
|Drummer||Small kit or full kit|
|Other Horns||As specified by Client|
|Other Instrumentation||Additional guitars or other instruments|
Influences & Inspiration
James studied guitar with jazz great, Sal Salvador. Sal performed with Sinatra, Torme, Streisand, Stan Kenton's orchestra, and many other great musicians. Sal taught James how to arrange and perform jazz standards in a unique, upbeat way.
James' jazz influences include many of the great jazz performers (Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Mel Torme, Bobby Caldwell, John Pizzarelli, Michael Buble, George Benson, and more)
He also has an excellent song list for pop, blues and rock. His influences here include Sting/The Police, Steely Dan, Van Morrison, Michael Franks, Steely Dan, Queen, and more.
James' voice has been likened to Michael Buble's, Stings, and Michael Franks. He is an excellent interpreter as well.
Basic lighting and stage lighting as desired
Stool(s) if available
Heat, if performing in cold temps