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Jimi's Bio
Meet the man behind Buffalo Sound, James "Jimi" Tunnell...


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JIMI TUNNELL
Vocalist/ Guitarist/ Composer/ Producer

James ("jimi") Tunnell, born in Denton, Texas, began his wide-ranging musical career as a classical/jazz trumpet player. While studying at the University of North Texas, James switched to guitar as his primary instrument. After college, he formed the band "360", with Rob Kilgore (Stevie Winwood, Hall&Oates, Chaka Khan) which launched him into the New York live and studio music scene.

  Jimi Tunnell
Photo by Bill Douthart

In the late 1980's James toured extensively in Japan with Yellow Magic Orchestra artist, Yukihiro Takahashi. He later joined the electric jazz super group, Steps Ahead, replacing Mike Stern, and toured with them internationally for three years. He was the first artist to successfully incorporate vocals into their live concerts, receiving wildly enthusiastic ovations with his own compositions at Jazz Festivals such as North Sea, Montreaux, Milan, Paris, etc…

Jimi TunnellJames has recorded and/or performed with such diverse artists as Carly Simon, Laurie Anderson, The Bee Gees, Arcadia (Duran Duran), C&C Music Factory, Malcolm McClaren, Arthur Baker, Little Louie Vega, Cover Girls, New Kids On The Block, Southside Johnny, Paul Schaffer and Will Lee (David Letterman), Steve Smith (Journey), Hiram Bullock, Teo Macero, Omar Hakim (Sting, Madonna), Dennis Chambers, Jaco Pastorius, Victor Bailey (Madonna, Weather Report), Kenny Garret, Mino Cinelu, Tom Coster (Santana), Adam Holzman (Miles Davis), and The Bob Belden Ensemble. His chorus vocals on Shannon's, "Let The Music Play", sent the single into the top ten and began his foray into the pop music world. During this period Mr. Tunnell was regularly commissioned to be a "ghost artist", singing the pop hooks for various well-known artists.


Among others, Jimi made a self-titled Pop/R&B release for MCA, and an instrumental/jazz release "Trilateral Commission", which he also wrote and produced.

  Trilateral Commission CD Cover Art

Since the early 90's James has been a partner and principal artist/producer at Damfino Productions in New York. Through this affiliation he has expanded his comprehensive knowledge of digital recording and production. James' protean talents include composing, arranging, and producing/performing original music for commercial spots for Budweiser, Pizza Hut, Mercury-Cougar, Acura, Swatch, Dragonball Z, Radisson Hotels, CiCi's Pizza, Acme Brick, Bestway, Troy Aikman, Boy Scouts Of America, Ford, Kurzweil, and Cybergenics, among many others.

His original scores/perfomance can be heard on the soundtracks for "Snowboard Academy", "Jack's Back" (Paramount/James Spader), "Stickfighter" (Pan-Am Pictures), and Suffering Bastards (produced by and starring Eric Bogosian) among others.

As a sound designer, Jimi has been quite active as well, working on, among other projects, General Magic's Interactive "Portico" System, (featured in Wired Magazine).

James now owns and operates Buffalo Sound, a production facility in Texas. He regularly performs with his own band, which has been described as an amalgam of influences such as Peter Gabriel and Weather Report.