1 January, 2018Print
Meet Vitamin String Quartet's Arranger & Producer
James A. McMillen (Jim) has pursued a multi-faceted career as writer/arranger, producer, and instrumentalist. As a performer he’s played Jazz, Rock, Funk, Pop, Chamber Music, Orchestral, Musical Theater, Circus, Salsa, Ska, Reggae…the list goes on.
His compositions, arrangements, and trombone can be heard on TV, in numerous commercials (including an NFL Super Bowl spot), Beverly Hills 90210, Cold Case Files, Vegas, The Playboy Club. Additionally, he was the featured soloist on Fox Family’s Cartoon Show, The Kids In Room 402. For film work, you can hear his performance and writing in Elektra, Four Christmases, Iron Man, and Christina Aguilera’s film Burlesque, as well as the original session work on her album Back To Basics. Along with his work in film, he has orchestrated scores for dozens of film trailers.
Aguilera is one of many artists Jim has worked with. He orchestrated several songs for Kid Cudi and has string arrangements on a Ben Platt album. Additionally, Jim wrote all the charts on Trumpeter Chris Tedesco’s album Livin’ The Dream and wrote 2 albums with percussionist Johnny Sandoval; @conga and A Skin & Bones Christmas. More recently he contributed to Laura Dickenson’s last 2 albums One for My Baby and Auld Lang Syne, and he has several arrangements on master drummer Bernie Dresel’s big band albums.
As a musical leader, Jim held the dual titles of assistant conductor, and principle trombonist at the Crystal Cathedral, Hour Of Power Orchestra for 14 years arranging and conducting full orchestra, choir, and pipe organ on live broadcasts to over 20 million people. He currently serves as in-house orchestrator for the American Contemporary Ballet.
For CMH Label Group Jim has arranged and produced close to a hundred recorded projects, including Be-Bop, Big Band, Jazz, and Symphonic albums. The bulk of his work for CMH is the more than 70 studio projects he’s overseen as an arranger and producer for Vitamin String Quartet. This includes recent successes with renditions of Radiohead, Weezer, The Flaming Lips, the Weeknd, Sigur Ros, the music of Studio Ghibli and The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the majority of all the releases in VSQ’s incredibly successful Hits series.