James Beaumont (Jim) Bates was born in Greater Philadelphia in 1949 and attended Marple Newtown High School in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. As a young man, he began studying bass trombone with Robert Harper, bass trombonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

In 1967, Jim was accepted as a bass trombone performance major into Emory Remington’s studio at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. While a student at Eastman, Jim performed with all of the major ensembles, plus the legendary Trombone Choir.

With the Trombone Choir, he toured Washington DC, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, plus numerous colleges in New York State. Jim also appears on the famous album The Legacy of Emory Remington.

In 1971, Jim enlisted in the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” stationed in Arlington, Virginia, where he worked as a copyist and arranger for the band. Jim was a tremendous fan of the music of Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams, and he devoted much of his free time to arranging their music for trombones.

Following his three-year tour of duty, Jim began freelancing on both tenor and bass trombone. Among his steady positions were bass trombone in the National Gallery Orchestra and first call extra with the Baltimore Symphony. Jim was also an arranger for the North Carolina Symphony’s Children’s Concerts. He became a frequent extra on both tenor and bass trombone in North Carolina.

On the advice of bass trombonist Bill Reichenbach (who was working in Los Angeles), Jim decided to move to LA and soon began working for Quincy Jones as a copyist and arranger. Jim worked on many films and recordings for which Quincy Jones was the composer.

Every August, Jim would use his recording royalties to indulge in his second passion – railroad trains. In addition to riding most of the major Amtrak routes, one of his favorites was the now defunct B.C. Rail between Vancouver and Prince George, British Columbia.

Always interested in technology, Jim decided to leave music and work with computers for Amtrak. He was responsible for knowing the location and condition of Amtrak’s rolling stock west of the Mississippi. Jim passed away while working for Amtrak. 

All proceeds from the sale of this music will go to the Emory Remington Scholarship Fund at the Eastman School of Music.

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