JAMES SUDAKOW is one of our digital exclusive artists. His CD can be downloaded from our download store:

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James Sudakow is a musician with a creative and innovative approach to the electric violin. As a third generation violinist, James was classically trained since the age of 4. Most of his initial playing experience was through traditional classical forums, including orchestras and classical violin soloist and concert master performances.

Despite this classical upbringing, James’s inherent attraction was to Grunge, Punk, Alternative Rock, and Progressive Rock music – influenced by bands ranging from The Clash, Jane’s Addiction, Rage Against the Machine, and System of a Down to The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin.

As a result, James has adapted his classical training to significantly change the violin’s sound, capabilities, and applications and has been influenced specifically by a select group of innovative rock guitarists. These influences include Jimi Hendrix, Vernon Reid (Living Colour), John McGlaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra), and Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction). Playing through a Marshall half-stack amplifier, James uses a combination of sounds ranging from clean melody lines to heavy rhythm sections to completely altered and distorted feedback and sound effects.

James spent several years recording and performing live shows with local bands in Los Angeles and San Francisco while continuing to hone in on his sound. As James continued to evolve his electric violin style, he began to re-incorporate many of the classical elements that were the roots of his playing. Whereas James worked hard for years to create and invent a heavy, distorted, and driving electric violin sound in the style of the previously mentioned innovative guitarists, he recently became focused on finding a balance between the heavy distortion and the innate qualities and depth the violin has to offer.

Upon achieving this balance, James has completed his first solo CD – GREEN – an all instrumental progressive rock release featuring clean, distorted, and experimental violin sounds throughout but all grounded in emotional melody.


James has performed at venues throughout the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas and is known in those areas for his high energy and intense live performances. He has opened for Apex Theory, Kings X, and Steve Vai.


In addition to his own progressive rock projects and bands, James has recorded on several commercially released CDs. Specifically, James was featured as a guest violinist in two Under-Radio CD releases under Lion Records – Bad Heir Ways, 2004, and Under-Radio, 2002.