About The Artists

2018 marks Jazz at St. James’ 24th year celebrating the finest local Austin and national jazz performers. Over our history, we’ve showcased musicians who have made their creative impression on the music we love. 

This year’s lineup is no different and we’re excited to have such great artists grace our humble stage and share the passion of jazz.

Ernie Watts

“All things in the physical world have vibration; the music I choose to play is the energy vibration that touches a common bond in people. I believe that music is God singing through us.” – Ernie Watts

Chances are you’ve heard the reed-vibrating dulcet tones of Ernie Watts and didn’t even know it. Whether in the instrumental background solo on a Jackson Five recording, in the weekday evening overtures of the Tonight Show band or in the saxophonic thread weaving its way into the jams of a diversity of artists, ranging from Cannonball Adderley to Thelonius Monk; from Buddy Rich to Frank Zappa: that was Ernie raising his distinctive interpretation of the divine voice.

Kirk Covington

Kirk Covington has become recognized as one of the most versatile and dynamic drummers in the world. He has performed and / or recorded with many of the most gifted and revered musicians of all time including Joe Zawinul, Allan Holdsworth, Scott Henderson, Gary Willis, Robben Ford, Leni Stern and Tribal Tech. Covington is also an accomplished vocalist and keyboardist. He is the Wild Man From Texas that jazz fusion audiences all over the world are talking about. His energy is infinite and his crowd pleasing personality and vocal ability have been a driving force in the success of the world renowned jazz fusion group Tribal Tech featuring guitarist Scott Henderson, bassist Gary Willis and keyboardist Scott Kinsey.

Pamela Hart

Pamela Hart is highly regarded as Austin’s finest jazz vocalist. Noted by Austin Women’s Magazine as “Austin’s First Lady of Jazz,” audiences rave about Pamela’s excellent pitch, clarity and soothing vocal quality. “Her warm, clear tones and meticulously controlled pitch carry an illusion of effortlessness”–Tribeza Magazine. Her sultry rendition of classic jazz standards and contemporary music wins immediate acceptance by any audience.

Throughout her singing career, Pamela has repeatedly opened shows for, and shared stages with, many popular artists including Miss Nancy Wilson (2000, 2001); David ‘Fathead’ Newman (1997, 2008); Dianne Reeves (1999, 2001); Kirk Whalum (1998); Rachelle Ferrell (2005); Patrice Rushen with Teri Lyn Carrington (2007); Joyce Cooling, Pamela Williams, Althea Rene (2009); Norman Brown and Richard Elliot (2011); Bobbi Humphrey (2012); Jazz in Pink (2013); Kyle Turner (2016); Jeanette Harris (2017).

Pamela Hart is a beautiful woman who steals the heart of any jazz aficionado. Be prepared to shout “encore!”