Jaymes Kirksey, a native of Oklahoma, and a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, has won numerous prizes for both violin and piano at several national and international competitions including the Margaret Gutthman Piano Competition in Atlanta, the Baylor University Music Competition and the Juanita Hubbard Invitational Piano Competition. He is an active performer around the US and Europe.
Jaymes made his professional Oklahoma debut at the age of 13 performing Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
The Daily Oklahoman described Jaymes as having an "outrageously mature playing style with exceptional control" and "a truly unstoppable future." He later performed Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto with the Hays Symphony Orchestra of Kansas.
Jaymes made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2006 with the National Festival Orchestra led by Maestro Benjamin Zander and became the first African American and Oklahoman chosen to perform with the orchestra in its history. Jaymes studied piano with Dr. James Breckenridge, Valery Kuleshov and Nellie Asaturyan and violin with Bettina Mussumeli, Peter Nguyen, Robert McDuffie and Kare'n Khanagov.
He is currently the Music Director and Maestro of the Young Musicians Choral Orchestra in Berkeley, the only choral orchestra in the country. He has guest conducted the Golden Gate Symphony in ther performance of Brahms Fourth Symphony and has performed Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Lalo's Symphonie Espagnol with the orchestra. For more information, visit youngmusiciansco.org/teachers.