Dr. James K. Bass

Artistic Direction

Dr. James K. Bass, Artistic Director

2021 Grammy Award Winner for Best Choral Performance

The 63rd Grammy Awards were held on Sunday, March 14, 2021, and Long Beach Camerata Singers’ Artistic Director, Dr. James K. Bass, won in the Best Choral Performance category. He was chorus master, along with Adam Luebke, for the NAXOS recording of “The Passion of Yeshua.” The piece was written by Richard Danielpour and conducted by JoAnn Falletta. The principal performers were The Buffalo (New York) Philharmonic Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus (Luebke) and the UCLA Chamber Singers (Bass). Bass also appeared on the album as a baritone soloist. Dr. Bass has received three previous Grammy Nominations.

Dr. James K. Bass has been the Artistic Director of Long Beach Camerata Singers since 2017. In addition to his position with LBCS, he is Director of Choral Studies at UCLA, and Associate Conductor of the Miami-based chorus, Seraphic Fire. Bass received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami–Florida, Master of Music and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of South Florida and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy.


Bass received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami, where he was a doctoral fellow, and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy.

He has appeared with numerous professional vocal ensembles including Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Trinity Wall Street, Apollo Master Chorale, Vox Humanae, True Concord and Spire. He was the featured baritone soloist on the GRAMMY nominated recording Pablo Neruda: The Poet Sings with fellow singer Lauren Snouffer, conductor Craig Hella-Johnson and the GRAMMY winning ensemble Conpirare. He is one of 13 singers on the GRAMMY®-nominated disc A Seraphic Fire Christmas and appears on CD recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Albany, and Seraphic Fire Media labels.


Bass was selected by the master conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Soloists, Ton Koopman, to be one of only 20 singers for a presentation of Cantatas by J. S. Bach in Carnegie Hall and was an auditioned member of Robert Shaw’s workshop choir at Carnegie.

During his tenure as Artistic Director for the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, the official chorus of the Florida Orchestra, he was responsible for five recordings and multiple world premieres. In 2012 he served as chorusmaster and co-editor for the Naxos recording entitled Delius: Sea Drift and Appalachia featuring the Florida Orchestra and conducted by Stefan Sanderling. In 2014 he was the preparer for the recording Holiday Pops Live! conducted by the principal pops conductor Jeff Tyzik.

His professional career has coincided with the development of Seraphic Fire as one of the premier vocal ensembles in the United States. He has been actively involved as soloist, ensemble artist, editor, producer and preparer for 14 of the ensembles recordings and routinely conducts the ensemble in Miami and on tour.

During the summer of 2011 he co-founded the Professional Choral Institute. In its inaugural year of recording, Seraphic Fire and PCI received the GRAMMY® nomination for Best Choral Performance for their recording of Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deuthches Requiem. As the Director of Education for the ensemble he has been involved with annual events that service more than 2000 students in the Miami-Dade county area each year. In 2017 Seraphic Fire and UCLA launched a new educational initiative entitled the Ensemble Artist Program that aims to identify and train the next generation of high-level ensemble singers.

He won the Grammy for Best Choral Performance in 2021 for his work as the director of the UCLA Chamber Choir. More can be read on the Long Beach Post, the Press Telegram, and The Grunion.

We are so grateful to have him here at Long Beach Camerata Singers.