James Vincent

Chicago is home to many great musicians, including James Vincent, guitarist. His resume reads like a history of modern music. Vincent is a master of many styles, including blues, jazz, fusion, and salsa. He has also been a solo artist, writer, and composer and never stopped learning. He was raised in Chicago’s blues-rich southside and studied the techniques of B.B. King and Johnny Smith. His finger-picking technique was modeled after Chet Atkins. James kept improving his skills and was soon playing in some of Chicago’s most well-known clubs. He was performing here when he was approached by Pete Cetera to join The Exceptions, a band originally formed by Kal David, Marty Grebb, and Pete Cetera. They quickly became one of the most sought-after club acts in town. When Otis Redding toured with them, the Exceptions reached their peak. Cetera left Chicago to pursue other opportunities, and eventually became the lead singer of Chicago. Vincent was a sought-after studio musician who laid down tracks for Minnie, The Paul Butterfield Band, and other notable Chess Records recording artists. Vincent met Bill Graham, a rock promoter who was at the time managing H.P. Lovecraft. Vincent was in need of a guitarist and Vincent was looking for a job change. He accepted the job and moved to San Francisco. Howard Wales was his mentor through that project.

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