J. Kimo Williams
Vietnam Veteran Composer
"The score has an appealing unpretentiousness."

—Chicago Tribune

"... the opening passage to Symphony For The Sons of Nam is a stirring one ... with a touch of American Jazz, folk melodies, country music and Asiatic themes, basically seems that you caught all of them."— Studs Terkel

Recording Label
Little Beck LLC
One Omik Music
Non-Profit Presenting
James-Kimo Williams was born in Amityville, New York, and spent much of his childhood divided between Air Force bases, urban neighborhoods of Baltimore, rural Mississippi and on his grandparents’ sharecropper farm in North Carolina. Moving to Hawaii with his father in 1967, he volunteered to serve in the military and was deployed to Vietnam in 1970.
He holds an MA in Management from Webster University as well as a BA in Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston. As a composer, he has released four CDs of original works, including two with his fusion ensemble “Kimotion”. His symphonic works have been performed by the symphonies of Detroit, Atlanta, Savannah, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Alabama, Lancaster, PA, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam, Czech Republic and others. His string quartet “Into The Liquid” was commission by the New York-based Ethel quartet and premiered at the 2013 BAM Next Wave Festival.
As a Vietnam Veteran, many of his compositions are inspired by his experience and interest in the military, including the award-winning "Symphony for the Sons of Nam." His "Buffalo Soldiers/American Soldier." was commissioned by the West Point Military Academy in 2002 to celebrate their centennial.
Kimo has written five string quartets, five symphonies and array of jazz-themed large ensemble works. In 1997 Kimo wrote the music for the Steppenwolf Theatre production "A Streetcar Named Desire" and was musical director for the Goodman Theatre production of "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom." In 2003, he co-founded the "Lt Dan Band" featuring actor Gary Sinise, performing for the USO worldwide.
He has received numerous awards to include; the Vietnam Veterans of America’s Excellence in the Arts Award: People To People International’s Presidents Award: the Lancaster Symphony’s 38th Recipient - Composers Award for Contributions to American Music and the League of Black Women’s Black Rose Award. He is a Fulbright Specialist and Encore Purpose Prize Fellow.
Kimo and his creative partner and wife Carol (also a musician and US Army veteran) lives in Shepherdstown West Virginia on the Potomac River, regularly donate their time to support their non-profit organization the United States Veterans Arts Program.

"A gifted melodist with great ideas and a clear sense of what works and what does'nt. His Symphony has abundant popular appeal."
Detroit Free Press
"Immediately accessible."
Chicago Sun-Times
"Williams orchestration is lavish and his style cinematic. The result is alluring The writing for unusual instruments often produces dramatic, dynamic music This is vivid, vital music."
The Delaware News Journal
"His powerful Symphony bristles with bold rhythmic vitality and his treatment of themes seems to reflect influences ranging from native American song to Leonard Bernstein."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"... the opening passage to Symphony For The Sons of Nam is a stirring one ... with a touch of American Jazz, folk melodies, country music and Asiatic themes, basically seems that you caught all of them."
— Studs Terkel
"Buffalo Soldiers is a wonderful commemoration to the Fourth of July."
— Hillary Rodham Clinton
"Documerica [the performance that included Into The Liquid] "is ... unfailingly vital"
The New York Times

Buffalo Soldiers
The Symphonic Works of James Kimo Williams
Symphony for the Sons of Nam
Little Beck Records
Fanfare For Life
J. Kimo Williams, Composer
Paul Freeman Introduces, Vol. 1
Albany Records
Into The Liquid
J. Kimo Williams, Composer
The Ethel Quartet: "Documerica"
Innova Records
Symphony for the
Sons of Nam
J. Kimo Williams, Composer