About The Artists

2020 marks Jazz at St. James’ 26th 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.

Ron Wilkins

New York City based musician Ron Wilkins has been performing on tenor and bass trombones, euphonium, tuba, bass trumpet and vocals for over forty years. He has performed at the highest levels touring around the world with his own groups as well as premiere artists. Ron is a member of the Birdland Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, and runs his own New York City big band alongside trombonist Rebecca Patterson which features their writing and includes some of New York City’s premiere musicians.

Ron’s uncanny musicianship has led him to perform in many diverse musical genres, and his accomplishments and acclamations are too numerous to list here. Please visit Ron’s website to read more.


Sean Giddings

Sean Giddings is a pianist, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and record producer from Kansas City. He currently resides in Austin, Texas, and can be found playing piano for both five-time Grammy-winner Christopher Cross and Texas country legend Pat Green.

Find out more about Sean here.

Marcos Varela

Musician/composer Marcos Varela began his musical career at the age of 17. He started playing the bass in his native Houston, TX while attending the highly acclaimed High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, a school which has been attended by many greats in music and art today. After attending the New School University/Mannes School of Music in NYC on scholarship Marcos quickly became part of the New York and World music scene collaborating and performing with a wide variety of world class musicians and music legends.  He has also become known for his compositions for film and television.

Read more about Marcos here.

Mike Gordon

Drummer Mike Gordon grew up in Northport, New York, where he started playing drums at age 8.  Mike has lived in the New York City area for the last 7 years, working as a music performer, educator, and dance accompanist. He played regularly around town with Prismatic (Alison Shearer), Joe Benjamin, Charlie Phllps, Moondrunk, & Triad Brass, among others. Notably, Mike has had the pleasure of performing at Bowery Ballroom, The Blue Note, Smalls, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and Rockwood Music Hall, to name a few. For the past 8 years, Mike also served as an accompanist for classes at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. He recently relocated to Austin, TX.

Find out more about Mike here.

Hope Morgan


Hope Morgan was raised within the rich jazz culture of New York City. Her vocal talents became apparent very early on. By the age of five, she was singing in the church choir. She developed an interest in musical instruments including the violin and piano which she studied quite seriously, learning all the standard repertoire.

Hope’s arrival upon Austin’s jazz scene in the mid-eighties, represented the addition of an ‘authentic’ straight-ahead vocal talent to the jazz mix.

She has had the opportunity to learn jazz from such great musicians as Archie Schepp, Stanley Cowell, Marlon Brown, Ken McIntyre, Max Roach Gene Ramey and of course the late, great Betty Carter.  Her influences include jazz legends Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae,Ron Carter, Freddie Hubbard, John Coltrane, Johnny Hartman and Stanley Turrentine.

Learn more about Hope here.