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Behind The violin

James Desautels enjoys a full-time career as a professional musician. From concert halls, outdoor festivals, and live music clubs to recording studios, he has performed on 5 continents and in 36 countries.

Born in Calgary, Canada, Jamie began violin lessons at age 5, and fiddle classes at age 7. As a teenager he toured internationally performing classical and fiddle music. Upon achieving a Music Performance Diploma from Mount Royal College and a Bachelor of Music degree with distinction from the University of Calgary, Jamie moved to the United States and completed a Master of Music degree from the University of Arizona. He then moved to Austin, Texas and worked towards the Doctor of Musical Arts degree – obtaining All But Dissertation.

Jamie first gained international attention when he was invited to tour with David Byrne and Tosca Strings. Initially hired as a violinist, his role expanded as he started writing string arrangements for the group. Jamie has worked with David Amram, Arcade Fire, Austin Pops Orchestra (Music Director and Conductor), Marcia Ball, Garth Brooks, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Diahann Carroll, Natalie Cole, Elvis Costello, Christopher Cross, Sheena Easton, Falls, Nanci Griffith, Neon Hitch, Diana Krall, Ray LaMontagne, Yo-Yo Ma, Rejane Magloire of Indeep & Technotronic, Kathy Mattea, Bobby McFerrin, Don McLean, Willie Nelson, Jeffrey Osborne, Luciano Pavarotti, Pearl Jam, Itzhak Perlman, Bernadette Peters, Ray Price, Bruce Robison, San Antonio Symphony, Doc Severinsen, Frank Sinatra Jr., the Temptations, Thee Phantom, Vast, and Yoshiki.

Jamie is the solo violinist on the soundtrack to the Hollywood movie ‘Badland’. He is first violinist on the soundtrack for the series finale episode of ‘The Office’ (NBC), and a violinist on the soundtrack for Terence Malick’s film ‘To the Wonder’. In the past year, Jamie has performed in China on 3 separate tours, and taught master classes in Jinan, China and Xian, China.

Jamie has recorded music for Audium/Koch, Blue Rock, Disney, Microsoft, Nonesuch, Virgin Classics, Vitamin, and Warner Music Group.

Other Movie work


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