James Riggs retired at the end of the 2007-08 academic year.
James Riggs is a Professor in the Jazz Studies and Performance Divisions of the College of Music at the University of North Texas. He teaches applied saxophone lessons. He directs The Two O'Clock Lab Band, which has won many honors nationally. He performs frequently with both the Dallas and Fort Worth symphony orchestras. Mr. Riggs has presented many clinics and workshops both nationally and internationally.
Saxophonist James Riggs serves as Regents Professor at the University of North Texas where he teaches in the Divisions of Instrumental Studies and Jazz Studies. Riggs teaches jazz and classical saxophone, the Jazz Saxophone Fundamentals Master Class, directs the award winning Two O' Clock Lab Band and coordinates Jazz Saxophone Departmental Recitals. He has produced many award-winning saxophonists including first place winners and finalists in the North American Saxophone Alliance Young Artist Competition, finalists in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Saxophone Competition and winners in Down Beat magazines Student Music Solo Awards. Riggs' former students hold teaching and performing positions in numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States and in major military bands in Washington, D.C. His students hold first call professional playing positions across the globe including Hamburg Germany, New York City and Los Angeles.
For four years Down Beat Magazine selected the UNT Two O' Clock Jazz Band as ("Winner") of the Annual Student Music Awards. The Two O'Clock Lab Band discography numbers seven recordings: The Transparent Two, the Two O'Clock Jazz Band, A Salute to Benny Carter, The Manne We Love: Gershwin Revisited, a recent release of John Williams' arrangements, the Translucent Two, The Two O'Clock Jazz Band "Live" and The Best of the Big "O".
Riggs has performed regularly with the Dallas and Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestras and performed with the Dallas Symphony on the European tour of Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, England and Ireland. He recorded Prokoviev's Lt. Kije, Gershwin's Rhapsodie in Blue, Porgy and Bess and American In Paris with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Riggs appeared as a jazz soloist with the United States Navy Commodores in Washington, D.C., was a featured soloist with the North Texas Wind Symphony conducted by Eugene Corporon at Texas Music Educators Association and is featured with the UNT Wind Symphony on the "Luminaries" CD by Klavier. Riggs is the leader/founder of the Official Texas Jazz Orchestra a large jazz ensemble made up of outstanding musicians in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex.
Riggs has conducted All-State Jazz Bands in Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Tennessee. Riggs has appeared as a featured performer and clinician at Jazz Festivals throughout the USA and Sweden. As a freelance artist he has performed with the UNT One O'Clock Lab Band, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, and others. He holds degrees from the University of North Texas and the University of Toledo. Riggs is an artist/clinician for Rico International.