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Jim Self

Jim Self (b. 1943) is a Los Angeles free-lance musician, a veteran of over 1500 motion picture scores, hundreds of television shows and records, and is tuba soloist on many prominent movies. His tuba was the “Voice of the Mothership” in John Williams score to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. His record credits include such diverse artists as Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Maynard Ferguson, Don Ellis, the LA Philharmonic and LA Opera. He is Principal Tuba/Cimbasso of the Los Angeles Opera, the Pasadena and Pacific Symphonies and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

Jim holds degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Catholic University and a DMA from the University of Southern California--where he has taught tuba and chamber music for 37 years. His major tuba teachers were William Becker, Harvey Phillips and Tommy Johnson. Jim is a past president of ITEA, a former member of The U.S. Army Band, Washington, D.C, and was on the faculty at the University of Tennessee.

Jim Self is also a published composer with about 50 titles. The Pacific Symphony recently commissioned him to write a feature work called Tour de Force. The 14 minute piece received great acclaim and a later band version was premiered by Robert Reynolds and the USC Wind Ensemble in 2010. All of his recordings and compositions are available from:

His numerous honors include a Distinguished Alumni Award by Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2003, the Roger Bobo Award for Excellence in Recording in 2008, the Lifetime Achievement Award by ITEA in 2008 and the Harvey Phillips Award for Excellence in Composition 2010. Jim has produced twelve solo jazz and classical recordings. In 2006 his CD “InnerPlay” was one of Jazz Times’ Top 50 CDs of the year and Jim was chosen for that year’s Downbeat Critics Poll.
Jim Self is a Yamaha Performing Artist.