Started playing the banjo at Menlo School and Stanford in the 1950’s. His early mentor was Don Van Palta and his recent mentor is Buddy Wachter. After graduation from Stanford, Jim traveled with Freddy Finn (nee Soetje) and played at Shakeys at 47th Street in Sacramento, The Honey Bucket in San Francisco, the Red Garter in San Francisco, Ye Olde Pizza Joynt in Hayward, the Swing Door in San Mateo and Homewood Lodge at Lake Tahoe. He also played with Wally Rose at Gold Street in San Francisco. During his travels to Vail, Colorado and his favorite Sonoma County men’s club, he has played for Presidents Eisenhower, Ford, Bush, Bush, Jr., Reagan and Nixon. A few years ago, he also played at the Supreme Court in Washington DC for his friends Sandra Day O’Conner and Tony Kennedy.